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101:01 JANUARY 14, 1986 

«E,S»E;l» TMY LliMT IS €@MEl Bfr 


on a Damascus road 

Karren Boehr 

The letter arrived in the morning mail 
with an official gold seal affixed to the 
bottom corner. "How about something 
believable, true to life, for the 1986 
New Year's issue," it read. Don't make 
it a fairy tale "peaches-and-cream 
story but an authentic Christ-meeting 
of a modern Zacchaeus or Saul or . . . 
something with meaning, roots, sub- 
stance, security, assurance." The com- 
mission ended with an understanding 
"how's that for a challenge?" 

"O . . . K," I mumbled to myself as 
the wheels of my thinking began roar- 
ing with uneasiness. For starters, I 

knew no one named Zacchaeus or 
Saul, and only a few Pauls— none of 
whom would qualify. At least not at 
the moment. 

For weeks I pondered and prayed 
over the possibilities, looking for God's 
direction. And then one night it came. 
"It's in your blue notebook." The im- 
pression was so deafening it was as 
though all the giants in the land bel- 
lowed with one voice. 

In the blue notebook were personal 
experiences people had shared with me 
from their hearts. Experiences with 
God so earth-shaking in their magni- 

tude, I had grabbed a pencil and re- 
corded everything they could remem- 
ber. Somehow, I knew when the 
opportunity was right, God would draw 
from that notebook. 

"Lord, remember, the story is sup- 
posed to be true to life," I argued. 
"That notebook isn't exactly tomato 
soup and cheese sandwiches." 

When one really thinks about it, 
arguing with God is probably one of 
the most futile things we have ever 
The matter was settled. 
Digging out the notebook from under 
a mound of papers on my desk, I be- 
gan refreshing my memory back to the 
evening when the gentle carpenter sat 
at our kitchen table. My husband and 
I had met him and his wife at a Chris- 
tian conference some months before. 
Now, traveling from Michigan to Ar- 
izona in search of work, he had 
stopped in our home for the night. 

His face was that of a young man 
bordering the edges of maturity; only 
the thinnest lines in his forehead and 
cheeks indicated the experiences that 
now lay behind. These experiences had 
brought him far, had changed his life 
and the way he looked at things. His 
excitement and love for the Lord were 
so compelling he could hardly touch 
his supper. Several times he opened 
the much-worn Bible laid reverently to 
the left of his plate. Then, realizing his 
food was becoming cold, he apologized 
for getting sidetracked, only to be de- 
railed again four or more bites down 
the road. It was as though something 
inside was bubbling like a fountain. 

"Work's been slow," he said finally, 
pushing back fr om the table, "so I've 
been spending my extra time at the 
feet of the Father. I've studied his 
Word. I've spent time listening to his 
voice. I've gotten down on my knees, 
seeking that I would become less and 
he would become more." Almost rever- 
ently he took us where he had been 

Growing up in a stable but godless 
home, constantly under the shadow of 
a talented twin brother and a younger 
sister, Thomas' life from early on was 
filled with struggle. Plagued with a 
stammering tongue and painfully shy, 
he was made the brunt of other chil- 
dren's ridicule, and the nickname 
stuck— "Mental Retard." 

Thomas was considered unteachable. 


JANUARY 14, 1986 

By the time he reached the ninth 
grade he had simply been passed on 
year after year, learning little, mostly 
just occupying space. 

One night, challenged by a television 
commercial, Thomas began the insa- 
tiable search that would change his 
life. "You only go around once," the 
announcer beckoned, "so grab all the 
gusto you can get." 

"If I only go around once," Thomas 
pondered, "what's the gusto I'm sup- 
posed to be getting?" The question 
became an obsession that would not 
leave him any peace. 

When an English assignment in 
mythology talked about God, Thomas' 
restlessness was heightened. He asked 
everyone he saw whether they thought 
there was a God. Because he was a 
"retard," no one paid any attention to 
his inquiries until one afternoon an 
observant study hall teacher handed 
him the book Run Baby Run by Nicky 
Cruz and encouraged him to read it. 

Sensing an urgency, Thomas raced 
home. Pulling up a chair to the 
kitchen table where his mother was 
preparing supper, he read. When he 
came across a word he did not know, 
which was most of the time, he sought 
help. Night after night he sat at that 
kitchen table struggling and grasping 
as the life of Nicky Cruz was changed 
by a loving Jesus right before his eyes. 
"If Jesus can help Nicky, then he can 
help me," Thomas decided. 

The dilemma was that Thomas did 
not know where he could go to find out 
more about this Jesus. His parents 
told him to forget his foolishness, but 
Thomas wanted that gusto the com- 
mercial talked about, and he refused 
to give up the search. 
One evening several months later a 
N woman asked Thomas to babysit. After 
j§ the children had been put to bed, 
m Thomas wandered into the living room 
and, noticing a book on the coffee ta- 
ble, he picked it up. Flopping onto the 
couch, he opened it in the middle. 
However, weariness overtook him be- 
fore he had a chance to read the first 

When the husband and wife re- 
turned, they found Thomas sleeping. 
Their Living Bible was open on his 
chest. Thinking he must be interested 
in spiritual things, the woman sug- 
gested to Thomas that she could either 
pay him for his services or he could 

Thomas knew his God 
was real, that the price had 
been paid and until eternity 
ended he was free— free! M M 

have the Bible. Because it was worth 
more than what he would receive in 
money, Thomas elected to take the 

Drawn to the contents of that Living 
Bible and with the patient help of a 
young girl who later became his wife, 
Thomas learned to read. Day after day, 
week after week, the words took on 
meaning as the life and love of Jesus 
unfolded before the eyes of the young 
man everyone considered unteachable. 
During the following year, Thomas 
read through the Bible four times and 
watched his reading skills not only 
move up to grade level, but the Ds and 
Fs on his report card become As and 
Bs. "Mental Retard" became an honor 

But God had only begun. Now able 
to read on his own, Thomas spent 
hours pouring over the Bible, excited 
about the truths he found tucked 
within its pages. Realizing his sinful- 
ness, he asked Jesus to become his 
Savior. Immediately he ran headlong 
into a snag. The guilt of his sins did 
not leave him. They stalked his every 
thought until suicide seemed the only 
release. No one Thomas knew could 
assure him that Jesus had indeed paid 
the price. 

One night, when the torment was at 
its height, Thomas waited until every- 
one in the house was asleep. Silently 
going downstairs, he took his father's 
shotgun from its rack by the back door, 
loaded it with shells from a nearby 
drawer and returned to his room. The 
agony and struggle would soon be over. 
In the darkness, with trembling 
hands, daring not to contemplate his 
actions, Thomas methodically pulled 
the icy trigger. As he heard the click, 
in his mind he imagined the grief- 
stricken face of his mother and he 
began to weep. 

Then he realized the gun had not 
fired. Miraculously, the safety lock was 
still in place. Leaning against the 
headboard of his bed, Thomas shook. 

"Do you believe in gravity?" The 
voice was undeniably audible. 

Thomas knew at once who was 
speaking. Silently, too exhausted to be 
frightened, he nodded his head yes. 

"You can't see gravity, yet you be- 
lieve it is there," the voice continued. 
"It's the same way with my gift of 
salvation. You can't feel it, but it is 
accomplished. Accept it as fact and the 


3402 34 

feeling will follow. Now, where are the 

Looking up, Thomas saw the heavens 
twinkling and shimmering with tiny 
points of light, never realizing until 
later that above him was the ceiling of 
his own room. As he peered at the vast 
expanse before him, a pinpoint of light 
caught his attention. Three inches 
long, the six-sided sphere of neon bril- 
liance slowly descended until it came 
to rest one foot from Thomas' heaving 

Now terrified, Thomas found he 
could not move. Stifling pains wracked 
his torso and he suddenly found him- 
self no longer breathing, his heart 
coldly silent. Released from a cage of 
flesh, Thomas found himself outside 
his body. Viewing his once-familiar 
form sprawled lifelessly on the bed, he 
knew he had been touched by death. 
Yet the Bible verses flowed from some- 
where within like a torrent. "I am the 
light of the world. . . . Behold, I stand 
at the door and knock. ... If I be lifted 
up, I will draw all men unto me." 

Thomas watched as the dead form on 
the bed inched painfully toward the 
magnetic light that seemed to hold it 
captive. He felt the great effort that 
was being exerted as his chest, 
weighted by the unknown force, fought 
for freedom. With the last reserve of 
strength— Thomas knew there was no 
more— he saw his youthful body graze 
the edges of the brightness and then 
fall back onto the bed. During this 
time Scriptures continued to pour from 
his mouth. 

As suddenly as he had departed, 
Thomas was back within his body. The 
excruciating pain in his chest and the 
sphere of light were gone. The ceiling 
of his room had returned, and all that 
remained of the heavenly encounter 
was a warm sensation and unspeak- 
able joy. Thomas knew his God was 
real, that the price had been paid and 
until eternity ended he was free. 

Springing from the bed, Thomas 
wanted to wake the whole household. 
Surely his parents could no longer 
deny God's existence. However, his feet 
refused to touch the floor. Looking 
down, Thomas saw his toes flat 
against the cool oak boards, yet he 
knew he was floating several inches 
above them. Slapping and pinching 
himself, Thomas attempted to decipher 
whether his encounter had been real- 
ity or simply a dream. When wakeful- 
ness refused to come, he grabbed a 
small sheet of paper from a desk 
drawer and from the light of a half- 
moon shining through the window 
penciled out the shape of the mysteri- 
ous light. Folding the paper into a 
little square, he stuffed it into a grey 
sock and returned it among the rest. 

With assurance, he returned to bed 
and was quickly asleep. 

Dawn was barely breaking before 
Thomas awakened, the night's encoun- 
ter tantalizingly fresh in his mind. 
Had it been only a dream? Would his 
life return to the hell that had stalked 
it for months? With trembling hands, 
he opened the drawer that held the 
evidence. In the grey sock, the same 
grey sock with a hole in the toe, was 
the folded piece of paper. On it was the 
hexagon shape he had drawn the night 

before. Thomas, "Mental Retard," had 
undeniably been called by God. 

Looking back to that night around 
our table, I can still feel the divine 
brokenness and uncompromising devo- 
tion that this gentle carpenter had for 
his Lord. His words were heavy with 
thanksgiving and reverence, his every 
thought centered around the Christ of 
his life. Through a contemporary Da- 
mascus road experience, Thomas 
Bowning found the gusto for which he 
had been searching. • 

The place of truth 

William W. McDermet III 

It's a tiny room 
about 9x9. 
There are no pictures 
and the air is heavy. 
The pink-lady hostess 
ushers you in 
where the doctor waits. 
(He's explained surgery 
to so many he could 
not tell you the color 
of the room.) 

It's a tiny room 
and it cannot begin 
to hold the emotions: 
often — 

"We won't know 

until pathology reports." 

sometimes — 

"It wasn't malignant, 

she'll be OK." 
for us — 

"We couldn't do anything, 

I'm sorry." 
We thanked him for being 

It was long after 

we left the tiny room 

that I wondered 

"Was God there?" 

If God can: 
separate water 
roll stones and 
practice resurrection 

Then, of course 

God was there. Yes! 



JANUARY 14, 1986 

Foundations for our faith-5 

We believe in the church 

Daniel Zehr 

"Ecclesia" is the word used for church 
some 115 times in the New Testament. 
Ecclesiastical is the English word de- 
rived from ecclesia, referring to "the 
people who belong to the Lord." 

The roots of ecclesia are in the Old 
Testament concept of the "called-out 
people of the Lord." Called out of the 
world, they are God's own people. Paul 
in Galatians 6:16 identifies the connec- 
tion between the Old and New Testa- 

ment concepts of the church by calling 
it "the Israel of God." 

Essentially the difference between 
the old Israel and the new Israel is 
that the latter, the church, accepts 
Jesus as the Messiah and the divine 
life-giver. The old Israel denies Jesus' 
divinity and sees him as a threat to 
the institutions and beliefs of Judaism. 
As such they condemn him to death. 
But the death to which Judaism and 
all unbelieving humankind condemn 
Jesus becomes the means by which the 
new life (creation) is released through 
the resulting resurrection power. Jesus 
becomes Lord. 

The church becomes "God's people" 
by the call (1 Corinthians 1:2), the life 
and death (John 10:11; Acts 20:28) and 
the resurrected life (John 10:10; 20:22) 
of Jesus. It is instructive to note that 
the "life" Jesus sacrificed on the cross 
is the "psuche"— soulish/human life 
(John 10:11), while the "life" he pro- 
vides in his resurrection is the "zoe"— 
divine/eternal life (John 10:10). The 
English translation of both zoe and 
psuche in John 10:10 and 10:11 respec- 
tively as "life" obscures the essential 
difference between the divine/eternal 
life given by Jesus in his resurrection 
and the soulish/human though sinless 
life which he gave up in his death. The 
command of Jesus for us to take up 
our cross calls us to crucify our psuche 
(soulish/human and in our case sinful 
life) to be transformed by his resurrec- 
tion into his zoe (divine/eternal life). 

This experience is crucial for our 
understanding of the nature of the 
church. As the old Israel practiced 
adherence to prescribed rituals and 
actions out of a soulish/human orienta- 
tion, so the church may imitate that 
which outwardly appears good and 
godly without experiencing the control- 
ling reality of the divine/eternal pres- 
ence of the Holy Spirit. In the absence 
of Christ's zoe (divine/eternal) we are 

The Mennonite (ISSN 0025-9330) seeks to witness, teach, motivate and build the Christian fellowship within the context of Christian love and freedom under the guidance of the 
Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. It is published semimonthly by the General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 671 14 Subscription rates' one year 
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in reality not the church, and as such 
we continue to participate in Christ's 
death instead of allowing that death 
and resurrection to infuse us with his 
life-giving Spirit. 

With this background on the nature 
of the church, several key characteris- 
tics of the church may be identified. 

The church is divine, not human. We 
do not make the church by our efforts, 
we receive it as a gift from God. Jesus 
said to his disciples, "I will build my 
church." The church is created by God 
through the resurrected Christ. By his 
resurrection and Pentecost the "new 
age" was ushered in and will continue 
when this present age is gone and 
time shall be no more. Living in the 
resurrection life is a gift from God; no 
person achieves it. 

The church is a fellowship of faith, 
not an institution. It is made up of 
receivers of— and believers in— Christ. 
The essential element is the people of 
faith, not buildings or denominational 
institutions or any human-made struc- 
tures. Christians in North America 
have more of substance in common 
with their fellow believers in El Salva- 
dor or the Soviet Union than they do 
with unbelievers in their own coun- 
tries. The nation state is less binding 
for the Christian than his or her one- 
ness with others who are in Christ. 

The church is corporate, not individu- 
alistic. One does not collect a hand 
here, a foot there and an ear some- 
where else to form a body. As a hand 
has no possible existence apart from 
the body, neither does an individual 
Christian have any existence apart 
from the total church, the body of 
Christ. While faith is personal, it is 
not individual. 

Even in its local existence, the church 
is universal. A local church is equal to 
the whole because it possesses not a 
fragment of Christ but the whole 
Christ. "Where two or three are gath- 
ered in my name, there am I in the 
midst," says Jesus. Where we meet in 
Jesus' name, there he is— not just a 
part of him. This reality draws us into 
the joy and suffering of Christ's body 
throughout the world. Our compassion 
grows out of Christ's compassion. Our 
suffering grows out of his suffering. 
Our love grows out of his love. Our 
new life grows out of his life. Any 
other source of motivation or action 
takes us out of being the church. This 
pours new meaning into the reality of 

The church is Trans Chaco Mission workers-an outreach ministry of the Paraguay 
Mennonite churches-(left to right: Abram G. Neufeld, chairman of the board- the 
superintendent of schools for 15,000 children, here accepting a Bible on behalf of the 
administration and inviting distribution to all the children; Johann W. Hiebert director of 
the mission, and David Schroeder, lay worker) making sure that God's word is' available 
to all the people of Paraguay. The body of Christ exists for the salvation of the whole world 

serving "in the name of Christ." 

The church is the living body of 
Christ, not the perpetuator of his mem- 
ory or the guardian of a tradition. Un- 
less the Holy Spirit of Christ lives in 
the church now, the church has no 
existence, that is, the church is not the 
church. It is sad but true that much of 
what passes for the church is a mere 
perpetuator of Christ's memory with- 
out his divine life-giving Spirit. The 
church is no mummy or lingering me- 
morial of the past. Christ lives now 
and lives in the church. 

As the temple of God and the body of 
Christ, the church exists not for her 
own sake, but solely for the glory of 
God. The central aim of the church is 
to worship God and to serve him in the 
world. Church members are those who 
surrender all they are and have to be 
used as instruments in God's hands for 

accomplishing what he wants done in 
the world. 

Consequently the church is not pre- 
occupied with self-preservation but 
toward the salvation of the world. As 
Christ's death brought about the sav- 
ing of the world, so the church has to 
die to be the instrument of that salva- 
tion. In contrast to human structures, 
which are various forms of cooperative 
egoisms or the pooling of social/politi- 
cal self-interest, the church is commit- 
ted to the sacrifice of self, engaged in 
costly action in Christ's warfare 
against evil, expecting the day when 
"the kingdom of the world has become 
the kingdom of our Lord and of his 
Christ, and he shall reign for ever and 
ever" (Revelation 11:15). All this is 
accomplished by God in and through 
his body, the church. Blessing, honor, 
glory and power be unto him. • 


JANUARY 14, 1986 


Be imitators of God (Ephesians 5) 

Gertrude Roten 

The Christian's role in the fulfillment of the plan 

the unity 
of the 

up his 

the old pat- 
tern of life 

espousing the 
new pattern 
of life 

The new 
life in 
and light 

Family mem- 
bers must live 
together in mu- 
tual submission 


6 7 

16 1 17 

24 25 

32 5:1 20 |5:21 


The Christian's role in fulfilling the 
plan now takes us to chapter 5: "Be ye 
imitators of God." Paul has said the 
old pattern of life must be abandoned. 
With that must go lying, resentment, 
stealing, bad language, bad temper, 

But how can we copy the essence of 
God in his works as Creator or Re- 
deemer? Imitation is foreign to the Old 
Testament. The Hebrew would say to 
"walk after" or "walk in the ways of." 
Interestingly, "walk" occurs eight 
times in the immediate context of be- 
ing "imitators of God." To imitate God 
is to fit' into God's plan with joy and 
obedience. John A. T. Robinson states, 
"The imitation of God in his merciful- 
ness is the characteristic of sonship." 
Hans Denck has put it for us thus, 
"No man can truly know Christ unless 
he follow him in life." 

Verses 3-7 lift out sins of conduct, of 
attitude, of covetousness, and sins of 
the tongue: foolish talking and jesting. 
No compromise with the pagan past is 
acceptable, but rather the giving of 
thanks. Was it Jonathan Edwards who 
said, "A God who does not glow in 
fiery indignation is no God at all"? 
Warning is pronounced on deceivers 
with empty words. Do not share or 
partake of evil with evildoers. 

Verses 8-14 is a praise to the victori- 
ous power of light. Christ is that light. 
The light has and will completely 
change the saints. The saints are daily 
to learn ("dokimazo" means to put to 
the test, examine, check credentials, 
accept as proved) to demonstrate by 
action what is the will and power of 
the Lord. Rather than to excommuni- 
cate deviating brothers and sisters, the 
text recommends such a testimony by 
conduct as will win over the perpetra- 
tors of evil. Philips translates verse 11, 
"Let your life show by contrast how 
dreary and futile these things are." 

It is a walk in love, a walk in light. 

In verses 20-21 it is a walk to be taken 
with care ... a walk in wisdom. "Look 
therefore carefully" how you walk, 
redeem the time, understand the will 
of the Lord. Verses 18-21 put so well 
what Mennonites call "community," 
speaking to one another in hymns and 
spiritual songs. Singing, making mel- 
ody, giving thanks and, yes, subjecting 
ourselves to one another in the fear of 

With Christ as example, the author 
moves rapidly into the home— 5:22- 
6:9. This section is known as the 
"Haustafeln": the tablets of the house. 
We are sexual beings in the totality of 
our relationships. Without the partner 
of the other sex, our humanity is in- 
complete. Together we complement one 
another's social being. Paul begins the 
Haustafeln with the husband-wife 
relationship. "Wives be subject to your 
husbands in all things . . . fear your 

Have you loved someone so deeply 
that, as you anticipated a meeting, you 

at the same time loved and feared? To 
walk beside someone whose love is so 
unconditional, even unto death, could 
total submission, fear and respect be 
adequate as a response? 

Husbands . . . love her, love her, love 
her. Have you seen the face of a 
woman who has just been told she is 
loved with an absolute love— that love 
which leads to a marriage relation- 
ship? No wonder that within this 
framework the lofty bridal song of 
"Christ and the church" is found. The 
marriage covenant is grounded solidly 
and finds its supreme example in the 
Lord's covenant with his people. 
Samuel Stone's hymn comes to mind, 
"From heaven he came and sought her 
to be his holy bride. With his own 
blood he bought her and for her life he 

A joyful picture of marriage is given. 
The author moves freely from one to 
the other— husband and wife, love and 
subordination in love encounter one 
another, as do gracious election and 
joyful fear. The outcome is peace. 
"With his example." Paul ends the 
pericope with a quotation from Gene- 
sis 2:24, ". . . and they shall become 
one flesh." Ninth in a series 

Gertrude Roten is associate professor of 
Greek and New Testament at Associ- 
ated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, 
3003 Benham Ave., Elkhart, IN 46517. 

This parking lot at the Para Todo Church in Paraguay reflects how we humans are often 
good at keeping our own patterns. Here the old hitching rails for horses were simply 
lowered as cars replaced buggies. Paul tells us clearly in Ephesians 5 that we are to follow 
God's pattern. That is a greater challenge for us. 


When the babies don 't come 


Name withheld 

Bouncing a friend's 4-month-old baby 
girl on my knee at the church picnic 
last summer, I heard a voice behind 
me: "Your turn next, Renee (fictitious 

There it was again: the Question. 
For a moment I tensed with annoyance 
but managed to smile sweetly as I 
turned to the woman to give my stand- 
ard reply. "Oh, I don't know," I said 
non-committally. "Is it?" 

The Question, as I call it, takes 
many forms, but all of them hurt. If I 
so much as pick up a friend's baby, 
someone is sure to tease, "Isn't it 
about time you had one, Renee?" or, 
"Maybe it'll rub off on you, Renee." 
After the last child dedication service 
in church it was, "Will you two be up 
there next year?" and so on. 

My husband and I are among the 
unfortunate minority of married cou- 
ples with a fertility problem. While 
most couples spend their reproductive 
years trying to prevent unplanned 
pregnancies, 10 percent of us are try- 
ing desperately to achieve a pregnancy 
that just doesn't come. We are infer- 

Medically, a couple must have been 
attempting for a year or longer to con- 
ceive, without success, to be classified 
as infertile. We have been trying for 

Naively, Evan (fictitious name) and I 
assumed that as soon as we stopped 
using birth control, nature would take 
its course. When it didn't happen in a 
month or two, I was mildly disap- 
pointed. After three or four months I 
was annoyed and impatient. The 
months rolled on to five, six, then on 
to 12 and longer. By now I was angry, 
depressed and discouraged. 

Others' successes only served to 
heighten my sense of failure: merely 
seeing a pregnant woman on the street 
filled me with resentment; attending 
baby showers or going to visit a new 
mother in the hospital maternity ward 
took on a bittersweet tinge; hearing 
that yet another friend or family mem- 
ber was expecting sent me into an- 
guished crying sessions. 

And no one seemed to understand. 
Well-intentioned but misguided com- 
ments such as, "Relax, you're trying 
too hard" or, "Have you thought of 
adopting? Then you'll probably get 

pregnant," only made me feel worse. 

Because God is the creator of life, 
thoughts of the Christian infertile turn 
naturally to him. "But why?" we ago- 
nize. "Are you punishing us for some- 
thing? Wouldn't we be good parents? 
Why do you let unmarried teenagers 
(or abusive parents or people who don't 
even want children) get pregnant and 
not us, a happily married couple who'd 
provide a loving Christian home? It's 
not fair!" 

As I prayed earnestly to find an- 
swers, a loving God spoke to me. The 
more I pondered it, the more I realized 
I could not blame him for "denying" 
us a child while selectively "reward- 
ing" others by giving them children. 
God has ordained the laws of reproduc- 
tion but has entrusted humankind 
with the specifics. He cannot be held 
responsible for every pregnancy that 
takes place on earth. 

Nor can he be blamed for our infer- 
tility. I no more believe that God in- 
flicted this condition on us than I be- 
lieve he inflicts cancer or heart disease 
on others. Because it is God's will for 
us as Christians to bring children into 
the world and raise them for his glory, 
we can be sure that failure to conceive 
is not his will. It is simply an imper- 
fection of the physical world that we 
have to live with. Fair? Perhaps not, 
but much in life isn't. 

God may not have caused our infer- 
tility, but apparently at this point he 
is choosing to use it for some purpose 
that we cannot see. Already it has 
become evident that my prayer life, 

my faith, my patience are all being 
developed to a degree that they could 
not without this difficult experience. 

Given the miracles that can be 
wrought in medicine today, it seemed 
fitting that the Lord would be pleased 
to give his blessing to our efforts to 
pursue all reasonable means to achieve 
natural parenthood. Thus we chose to 
seek specialized medical help. The 
ordeal has not been easy: the incon- 
venience of taking time off work to 
visit a specialist in another city, tests 
that range from humiliating to ex- 
tremely painful, the embarrassment of 
having to share the most personal part 
of one's life with a stranger. But I feel 
it is worth it. 

Fortunately, in our case the problem 
seems to be an easily correctable one, 
and with current treatment the doctor 
confidently talks of when, not if I con- 
ceive. Now all we can do is wait hope- 
fully and try not to get discouraged. 

I still battle envy and resentment 
when I see a pregnant woman or a 
mother cradling a newborn in her 
arms. I still have to endure people's 
thoughtless comments on our childless- 
ness. My heart still breaks when some- 
one close to me announces she is going 
to have a baby. 

And while I still pray daily for a 
child to bless our lives, now I also pray 
that God will continue to help me cope 
with the situation. My prayers are 
being heard and answered by a just 
and loving God. I am confident that 
God wants us to be parents and that 
someday we will be. 

8 JANUARY 14, 1986 


Let peace begin with me 

Helen Johns 

Peace— heralded by the prophets, 
chimed by the heavenly host on Christ- 
mas night and sown into the heart of 
the believer by the Holy Spirit. The 
theme of peace threads its way 
through the Bible from beginning to 
end, from loss of it in the Garden of 
Eden to its consummation in the Book 
of Revelation. 

Peace is never more often proclaimed 
than at Christmas. Luke 2:14 rings 
through the air in songs, it arrives on 
elaborately decorated cards, it per- 
vades stories of little angels, drummer 
boys and shepherds on the hillside. 
"Glory to God in the highest, and on 
earth peace to people on whom his 
favor rests." 

To some, peace is only a dream, a 
fantasy. Certain theologians cast a 
shadow on Luke 2:14, saying, "People 
killed the 'Prince of Peace' (Isaiah 9:6) 
and yet they vainly talk of peace; but 
there will be none until Christ comes" 
(Dake, Annotated Reference Bible, 
p. 58). Victims of the greedy, the cruel, 
the perverse and the godless all cry 
out, "There is no peace." World events 
roll on from day to day, seemingly out 
of control and far removed in time and 
reality from the chorus that rang so 
clearly on Christmas night: "and on 
earth peace. ..." 

In the summer of 1955 another song 
of peace sounded from a hillside, by 
180 teens in the mountains of Califor- 
nia. The words they sang were a 

Let there be peace on earth, and let it 
begin with me. Let there be peace on 
earth, the peace that was meant to be. 
With God as our Father, children all 
are we. Let me walk with my brother in 
perfect harmony. Let peace begin with 
me; let this be the moment now. With 
every step I take, let this be my solemn 
vow: To take each moment, and live 
each moment in peace eternally! Let 
there be peace on earth, and let it begin 
with me. 

The song, written by Sy and Jill 
Jackson Miller, has since been sung 
around the world in every conceivable 
setting: at the Sadat/Begin/Carter 
signing of the Middle East Peace 
Treaty, by Pearl Bailey at the United 
Nations, by choirs of children in Hong 
Kong, by African Zulus. The list of 
credits is extensive and impressive. In 


her autobiography Mrs. Miller says, 
"God's ideas go forth on wings of love 
to hearts that love him" (Miller, Let 
There Be Peace. . . , p. 95). The song 
has taken flight around the world to 
hearts of those longing for the peace 
promised by the heavenly host. 

The concept— personal responsibility 
for peace— is not a new one. In the first 
century Paul urged Christians to be 
ministers of peace. He used this rea- 
soning: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a 
new creation. . . . All this is from God, 
who reconciled us to himself through 
Christ and gave us the ministry of 
reconciliation. . . . We are therefore 
Christ's ambassadors, as though God 
were making his appeal through us" 
(2 Corinthians 5:17-20). Furthermore, 
the Ephesian epistle agrees that God's 
"purpose was to create in himself one 
new man . . . thus making peace" 
(Ephesians 2:15-16). 

Mrs. Miller explains, " 'Let There Be 
Peace on Earth' was born in the 
springtime of 1955. Sy and I were 
listening to a talk on radio that gave 
new meaning to the scriptural words, 
'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they 
shall be called the children of God' 
(Matthew 5:9 KJV). Its message em- 
phasized that there can never be a 
manifest peace on earth until it begins 
in the heart and practice of the indi- 
vidual . . . the lead sheet lay on our 
piano for some weeks before its amaz- 
ing journey around the world" (Ibid, 
pp. 95-96). 

In the 30 years since then Mrs. 
Miller's fervor for peace has not dimin- 
ished. The words she and her late hus- 
band wrote have become a lifestyle. In 
her book she attests, "We all knew 
that God guided us in every area of 

The angelic music of Christmas needs to 
continue in the new year. One way for this to 
happen is to let these words become alive in 
our lives: "Let there be peace on earth . . . 
and let it begin with me. " 

our lives. . . , that of ourselves we could 
do nothing." In a recent phone conver- 
sation she coupled that theme with 
words of devotion. Repeatedly she em- 
phasized the importance of daily seek- 
ing the Lord's will, and her over- 
whelming, grateful amazement at the 
way God has honored her offerings of 
talent and obedience. Little did she 
know or imagine 30 years ago that 
God would make something beautiful 
and dynamic of her life, which had 
almost ended in suicide. 

"When I'm asked to explain how the 
song spread, it is like trying to tell 
what happens to the circles going out 
from 75 pebbles thrown simultane- 
ously into a lake. Each pebble gives 
rise to circles. Each person is like a 
pebble of peace in the pool of human- 
ity" (Ibid, p. 97). She recalls being 
impressed by the rapidity with which 
an idea can spread. "Beginning with 
only one person, an idea can be shared 
with everyone on earth in 21 days, if 
one gives it to three others who will do 
the same" (Ibid, p. 94). Think of the 
possibilities today for spreading the 
gospel given similar statistics. 

Luke 2:14 makes it clear that peace 
is God's wish for all humanity— peace 
with God, peace with ourselves, peace 
with our fellow human beings. Peace 
did not miraculously drop from the sky 
that Christmas night. Yet in sending 
Christ God creatively and abundantly 
supplied the resources for peace for all 
who will receive him. Just as Jill and 
Sy Miller never imagined the impact 
that their song would have on the 
world, neither can we imagine the 
effect we as individuals might have if 
we "wage peace" in cooperation with 
God. God has made his will and provi- 
sion clear for those who pray, "Glory 
to God in the highest and peace on 
earth . . . and let it begin with me." 

Note: Copies of the song "Let there 
Be Peace on Earth" will be found in 
The Foundation Series Songbook to be 
published early this year. Mrs. Miller, 
still active in public speaking and 
peace promotion, can be reached at 260 
El Camino Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 

Helen Johns is the editorial assistant 
for the Evangelical Visitor, Box 166, 
Nappanee, IN 46550-0166. 



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v/cjn cd cj o a □ 5 

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the Bill eor 



Meet with college presidents 

Moderators plan peacemaker team assembly 

■ (Meetinghouse)— In a little 

Denver (Meetinghouse)— In a little over 
a year from now, Mennonites and 
Brethren in Christ will know whether 
the Christian Peacemakers Team idea, 
first proposed by Ron Sider at the 1984 
Mennonite World Conference, will 
become reality. 

The Council of Moderators and Sec- 
retaries, meeting here Oct. 24-25, 
1985, discussed the proposal with 
Sider and agreed to hold a special 
assembly about the future of the 
Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT) in 
connection with their next annual 
meeting Dec. 16-17 in Chicago. The 
goal of the special assembly is to de- 
cide whether or not to give CPT the 
final go-ahead and, if the green light 
is given, how to implement the new 
peacemaking venture. 

This was the second time the council, 
made up of representatives from the 
Mennonite Brethren Church, the Gen- 
eral Conference, the Mennonite 
Church and the Brethren in Christ 
Church, had examined the proposal. 
At last year's consultation CMS re- 
ceived the proposal "with apprecia- 
tion" but asked MCC Peace Section to 
give it further study and bring a re- 
vised proposal to the 1985 meeting. 

Council members were pleased with 
the new document. "It's moderate and 
salable," said Owen Alderfer of the 
Brethren in Christ. The proposal calls 
for a program, comprised initially of 
100-200 two-year volunteers, which 
would place teams of "well-trained 
Christians in the midst of warring 
parties or groups that support warring 
parties in order to foster shalom." It 

suggests that Mennonites and Breth- 
ren in Christ in North America should 
take the lead in establishing CPT, 
anticipating broader ecumenical and 
international sponsorship. 

The proposal also suggests interna- 
tional and domestic settings for possi- 
ble CPT activity, including Nicaragua, 
Chile, Laos, Guatemala, Ireland, Belle 
Glade, Fla., and through Nuclear 
Weapons Alternative Teams (NWAT)— 
groups of people who would promote 
alternatives to nuclear war and mili- 
tary defense through research, action 
and education. NWAT will focus on the 
United States, with "a lesser, but very 
serious, effort in Canada also." 

Sider set the tone for CMS's exami- 
nation of the CPT proposal by saying 
that while he had "felt called to put 
the idea out," he had believed "from 
early on that this was too large and 
the potential impact too great for just 
one person." 

The council spent much of the ses- 
sion on CPT discussing ways to let the 
conferences own the peacemaking 

CMS decided to host the assembly at 
its 1986 annual meeting. It also agreed 
to appoint a committee, comprised of 
representatives from the four groups, 
CMS, Mennonite World Conference, 
MCC Peace Section and Ron Sider, 
which will help the conferences process 
the material. Suggestions for process- 
ing included seminars and study con- 
ferences in churches, at annual con- 
ventions and in schools. 

The discussion about CPT was pre- 
ceded by what one called a "historic 

moment"— the first ever meeting be- 
tween CMS and presidents of the Men- 
nonite and Brethren in Christ colleges 
in Canada and the United States. The 
moderators and secretaries and the 
presidents enjoyed a fruitful discus- 
sion. "How can we better serve you?" 
asked Hesston (Kan.) College president 
Kirk Alliman. "Give us insight and 
direction. We want to be faithful and 
obedient to you." Alliman, who also 
chairs the informal Council of Menno- 
nite and Brethren in Christ Colleges, 
also encouraged CMS to "tell us if 
we're producing students that don't 
fulfill the mission of the church." 

Fresno (Calif.) Pacific College presi- 
dent Richard Kriegbaum echoed Alli- 
man's request for direction but added 
that "the church needs to know where 
it is going. How can we serve a divided 

James Lapp said, "We need to ac- 
knowledge that the destiny of our de- 
nominations lies with our schools." 
The moderators and secretaries and 
the college presidents plan to meet 
together again in 1987. 

In other business CMS agreed to 
send a message from the North Ameri- 
can Mennonite and Brethren in Christ 
churches to West German Mennonite 
congregations to mark their Peace 
Sunday celebrations in the fall. The 
message says, in part, "We need to 
support and help each other in discov- 
ering what it means in our world to be 
Christian peacemakers" and that it is 
"urgent that we be open to God's 
Spirit as to how we should be faithful 
in peacemaking." John Longhurst 


JANUARY 14, 1986 

Krystle Carrington of "Dynasty" is 

an average American woman, and her 
living room is an average American 
living room— at least to citizens of East 
Germany. Dealing with that stereotype 
was only one of the new experiences 
that awaited 25 Goshen (Ind.) College 
students and their faculty leaders this 
summer when they spent eight weeks 
at an East German university. 
Gerhard Reimer, Goshen College pro- 
fessor of German, who led the group, 
found that the popular American TV 
shows "Dynasty" and "Dallas" are 
shaping the East German image of the 
United States. 

Brazil is the world's fourth largest 
user of pesticides, dumping 105,000 
tonnes on its fields each year. The 
dangerous effects of this often indis- 
criminate use of chemicals have been 
proven by a recent study, which 
showed that nearly all of the com- 
monly eaten foods in the country are 
seriously contaminated. Researchers 
found pesticide residues above tolera- 
ble levels in 81 percent of butter sam- 
ples, 93 percent of sausages, 63 per- 
cent of ham, 100 percent of sunflower 
oil and 100 percent of corn oil. 

A group of students at a junior high 
school in Tokyo, Japan, recently sent a 
personal plea to President Reagan to 
stop pressing Japan to buy more 
American cigarettes. "The smokers 
have decreased a lot in the United 
States. The president himself supports 
non-smoking education. We thought 
your nation was a good example. Then 
why do you push us to buy cigarettes? 
Are you encouraging young people to 
smoke?" the plea read in part. 

Mennonite farmers tackle concerns at second conference 

Mt. Pleasant, Pa. (Meetinghouse)— 
Nearly 140 farmers found hope amid 
the darkness of the current agricul- 
tural crisis during the second Faith 
and Farming Conference Dec. 4-6 at 
Laurelville Mennonite Church Center 
here. They came from throughout 
North America and represented a vari- 
ety of Mennonite and related denomi- 

Tears mixed with laughter as the 
farmers shared stories of pain and 
hardship and enjoyed good fun and 
fellowship. Several of the participants 
had already lost their farms or were 
going through bankruptcy proceedings. 

Last year's conference, with a 
slightly larger attendance, raised 
awareness in the church about the 
plight of the farmers and launched a 
variety of efforts to help meet their 

This year's event was more reflec- 
tive, with the farmers helping each 
other see that they can learn from 
their hardships and that good things 
can come out of bad times. 

They talked about the need for some 
farmers to change vocations, even 
while promoting farming as a "way of 
life" and even a "right." 

"Yes, there is life after farming," 
said Nancy Kinsinger Haider of 
Parnell, Iowa. She and her husband 
recently lost their farm and are look- 
ing for other work. 

While acknowledging the pain of her 
family's experience, Haider said it was 
not as emotionally trying for them as 
for others because they are still rela- 
tively young and got into farming after 
pursuing other careers. The Haiders 
have also been open with their congre- 
gation about their troubles and have 
received much help and support from 
the members. 

Haider said it helps to get involved 
in helping other struggling farmers. 

Nancy Kinsinger Haider tells participants 
at Faith and Farming II about her family's 
experience of losing the farm to creditors 
recently in Iowa. 

She and her husband operate Menno- 
nite Central Committee's Farm Crisis 
Hotline out of their home. 

In a well-received address on "Hope 
and Vision," Iowa farm leaders Don 
and Karen Gingerich called on Menno- 
nite farmers to "reinvent agriculture" 
by using creative new ways to earn a 
living on the farm. Farmers will need 
to learn to be less independent and 
less self-reliant, they said. "We must 
support each other as never before," 
Karen said. "Let us be light in the 
world of agriculture." 

Warmth and humor pervaded the 
conference, and the tone was set by 
Bible study leader James Myer and 
main speaker Conrad Wetzel. Myer is 
a Lititz, Pa., pastor and moderator of 
the Church of the Brethren. Wetzel is 
a trained psychologist and leader at 
Plow Creek Fellowship— a rural Men- 
nonite intentional community near 
Tiskilwa, 111. 

Stress in the farm family and in the 
farming business was the topic of two 
addresses by Wetzel. The other topic of 
the conference, presented by a five- 
member panel, was "The Christian 
Farmer and Government." In addition, 
John Rudy of Mennonite Foundation 
gave a presentation on bankruptcy. 

In a report by the nine-member 
Laurelville Continuing Committee 
appointed during last year's confer- 
ence, chairman Wilmer Heisey said, 
"A tremendous amount of volunteer- 
ism and a whole range of gifts and 
ministries have been unleashed" in 
the Mennonite farm community dur- 
ing the last year. 

Some of the outgrowths of last year's 
conference, the committee said, were 
the Farm Crisis Hotline, support 
groups in numerous farm communi- 
ties, an MCC-appointed Farm Issues 
Task Force, a farm newsletter and the 
inter-Mennonite Agriculture Day at 
the Ames '85 convention of the Menno- 
nite Church. 

The farmer-dominated continuing 
committee, several of whose members 
are also part of the MCC task force, 
also noted that the General Assembly 
delegates at Ames '85 called on three 
inter-Mennonite organizations— MCC , 
Mennonite Mutual Aid and Mennonite 
Economic Development Associates— to 
work vigorously together on farm 

As the conference closed, Joanne 
Hershey of Kinzers, Pa., made an elo- 
quent plea for more attention to the 
needs of farm families, especially farm 
women. "We women are hurting in a 
way that no one quite realizes," she 
said. "People tend to blame the farm 
family for getting themselves into 
financial trouble instead of offering 
encouragement . ' ' 

Jay Garber, an ex-farmer and Lan- 
caster Conference leader who served as 
co-moderator of the conference, noted 
how Job in the Old Testament com- 
plained about the long-winded 
speeches and advice of his so-called 
friends. Job, a troubled farmer himself, 
lashed out at his "miserable com- 
forters" and said what he needed most 
was encouragement. Steve Shenk 


Violations of human rights in Af- 
ghanistan seem intended to break the 
spirit of an independent people and 
destroy family structures, a UN report 
concluded Dec. 2. The Soviet-backed 
government's policies, the report 
added, include indiscriminate killings, 
mutilations, torture and forced 

The Mennonite Collegiate Graduate 
Society (MCI alumni) will sponsor an 
Alumni Benefit Concert on Sunday, 
Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. at the Sargent Ave- 
nue Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. 
Performers will include the MCI Staff 
Singing Ensemble, Ernest Ens on gui- 
tar and Anna Schaefer on flute in a 
varied program of sacred, classical and 
jazz music. Though there is no admis- 
sion charge, a collection will be taken. 
Proceeds will go toward MCI alumni 

Lack of transportation to worship 
services and lack of access to the 
church building itself are only two of 
the obstacles facing people with dis- 
abilities in the church today, a recent 
Mennonite Central Committee Great 
Lakes survey found. Some disabled 
people are unable to participate fully 
in services because of their condition. 
Some disabled members show reluc- 
tance to get involved in church activi- 
ties because of their disability. When 
asked what assistance would be most 
helpful in disabilities ministries, most 
respondents mentioned the need for 
more information and resource 

Bethel College offers free tuition to retraining farmers 

North Newton, Kan. (BC)— For the 
1986-87 school year farmers who are 
forced to leave the farm for financial 
reasons will be eligible for a full year 
of free college-credit courses at Bethel 
College here. 

At the September 1985 meetings of 
the 36-member board, the deepening 
farm crisis was identified as the num- 
ber one priority and concern of the 
college. Much support, both in finances 
and in enrollment, comes from farm 
communities. President Schultz, in his 
15th year at the college, declared that 
"it is important that the college con- 
tinue to be a partner, a concerned part- 
ner, with our farm families in sickness 
and in health, in good times and in 
bad times." The college board took the 
following action: "Because we feel a 
deep concern for the emotional, physi- 
cal and spiritual welfare of people who 
are in severe financial difficulty, we go 
on record as identifying with and sup- 
porting the Mennonite Central Com- 
mittee Farm Crisis Committee and ask 
the executive committee of the board 
to consider sending a representative to 
this committee. Additionally the execu- 
tive committee of the board is asked to 
study ways in which Bethel College 
can relate to the farm crisis through 
tuition-free retraining programs for 
those forced to leave the farm." 

In December 1985 the administra- 
tion recommended to the board the 
following rationale and proposal to 
assist farmers in retraining and retool- 
ing for other vocations: 

"1. Mutual aid in times of special 
need is in the Bethel and Mennonite 
tradition. The current special need in 
our constituency is the deepening farm 
crisis and ways to assist those who 
cannot continue on the farm. 

"2. Bethel is church-related and also 
farm-related. Over 2,000 Bethel 
alumni are in agricultural occupations. 

"3. Bethel is primarily an educa- 
tional institution. Its support for the 
farm crisis comes primarily through 
its area of strength, education. For 
those forced to leave the farm for fi- 
nancial reasons, retooling or retrain- 
ing for another vocation is an option 
some may wish to consider. This is 
where Bethel is in a position to help. 

"Therefore, Bethel offers for the 
1986-87 school year two semesters of 
tuition-free education to those who 
qualify under the following guidelines: 
(1) Persons age 25 or older living on a 
farm who have abandoned farming 
within the past two years as their 
primary vocation. (2) The normal ap- 
plication process will be followed, in- 
cluding the $10 application fee. Those 
admitted will be required to apply for 
whatever federal, state or congrega- 
tional aid might be available to them 
(excluding loans). Bethel will cover the 
difference in tuition costs. (3) A desig- 
nated member of the faculty or admin- 
istration will direct this program to 
assist applicants in career counseling 
and course selection." 

The college, on the eve of celebrating 
its centennial as the oldest of the 10 
Mennonite colleges in North America, 

Teacher needed in Taiwan 

The Commission on Overseas Mission of the 

General Conference Mennonite Church is 
looking for a grade-school teacher to teach 
missionary children in Hwalien, Taiwan. A 
voluntary service term of two to three years 
including language study, beginning in August, 
is recommended. 

Please contact: 

Personnel Office 

Commission on Overseas Mission 
Box 347 

Newton, KS 671 14 
(316) 283-5100. 

has a special identity with the farming 
community. The founders of Bethel 
College were the German immigrants 
from Russia who brought with them 
their hardy Turkey Red Wheat, which 
helped make the prairies the bread- 
basket of the nation. 

President Schultz added that "mu- 
tual aid in such times is important at 
Bethel. We are not a bank. We do not 
have money to loan, but we do have 30 
programs available to permit farmers, 
male and female, to retool and make a 
career change. Bethel College wishes 
to offer what we do best— provide ca- 
reer preparation and lifelong liberal 
arts education— to farmers who choose 
to leave the farm for alternative 

Emerson Wiens, chairman of the 
industrial arts department, will direct 
this program and will assist applicants 
in career counseling and course selec- 

Part-time pastor needed 

Philippj Mennonite Church, a small 
ministry-oriented fellowship in rural West 
Virginia, seeks a part-time pastor, effective 

Duties include sharing spiritual leadership, 
representing the church to the community, and 

Qualifications: seminary training preferred; 
biblical studies background acceptable. 
Housing and a small stipend provided; 
supplemental income will be necessary. 

For further information contact: 
Lois Harder 

Work: (304) 457-1700, ext. 240 
Home: (304) 457-2506 

Elvin Kreider 

Work: (304) 457-2800 

Home: (304) 457-2987. 


JANUARY 14, 1986 

The former moderator of the Gen- 
eral Assembly of the Church of Scot- 
land (Presbyterian) has called for the 
creation of a peace army committed to 
withholding the 13 percent of income 
taxes that the British government 
spends on defense. Lord MacLeod of 
Fuinary hopes such an army will be 
able to persuade the government to 
allow people to give an equivalent 
amount of their taxes to relieve world 
hunger instead. Even if the govern- 
ment refuses to go along with the idea, 
he said, taxpayers should still with- 
hold the money and give it to famine 

Some 30,000 children of prisoners 

received Christmas gifts in 1985 
through an outreach program con- 
ducted in 200 American cities. Project 
Angel Tree was coordinated by Prison 
Fellowship Ministries, whose volun- 
teers investigated the needs of families 
of prisoners with whom they had con- 
tact. Christmas trees were set up in 
public locations with the names and 
gift wishes of the children of prisoners 
listed on paper angels. Shoppers se- 
lected an angel and purchased the 
gifts, which were later distributed to 
the families. 

Churches and other private emer- 
gency food centers are feeding more 
hungry people in the United States 
due to lack of adequate funding for 
federal food programs, according to a 
new report released in October 1985. 
The report, "Unfed America '85," uses 
data collected by volunteers in 36 
areas across the country. The report 
was released by Bread for the World 
Educational Fund, a Christian educa- 
tional service on poverty and hunger. 

Seventeen participate in learning tour to Philippines 

Akron, Pa. (MCC)— Current North 
American press reports indicate that 
the Philippines is a place where mur- 
der, political corruption and violent 
clashes between the government and 
the people are a way of life. 

For one group of North Americans, 
however, the Philippines has become 
much more personal than mere ink 
and newsprint, and a place where hope 
flourishes along with suffering. 

Seventeen people from the United 
States and Canada, representing Men- 
nonite and Lutheran churches and a 
Friends Meeting, participated in Men- 
nonite Central Committee's Learning 
Tour to the Philippines Oct. 5-24, 

"I have visited many countries at 
war and many refugee camps," said 
Norman Shenk, tour participant and 
MCC executive committee member. "I 
have never seen as much economic 
exploitation and dislocation. This has 
hit me more than any visit I have 

Following two days of orientation in 
the capital city of Manila, the group 
traveled to the southern island of Min- 
danao. There they met people pro- 
foundly affected by the uncertain eco- 
nomic and political climate. 

In Cagayan de Oro City the group 
met Romy and Linda Tiongco, friends 
of MCC workers who do community 
organizing with Christian and Moslem 
farmers and women's groups in Minda- 
nao. Romy Tiongco spoke about "em- 
powerment"— the building up of peo- 
ple's self-confidence so they can better 
their own lives and futures. "It's easy 
to get angry and take up arms, but it 
is a much harder and longer process to 
empower people," Romy said. 

These words provided a backdrop for 
much of what the group encountered 
in Mindanao. The region has been 
rocked by violent confrontations be- 

Learning Tour participants walk back into 
the mountains in Bukidnon province for an 
"overnight exposure" with peasant farmer 

tween government forces and the New 
People's Army (NPA), the military 
wing of the Communist Party in the 

In Bukidnon province, where MCC 
country directors Dan and Esther Epp- 
Tiessen are located, several tour mem- 
bers walked back into the mountains 
to spend a night with peasant farmer 
families. Some of the hosts were men 
whom the military had accused of an 
NPA-committed murder and had jailed 
for several months. The Epp-Tiessens 
were instrumental in helping the 
farmers get out of prison on bail. 

The entire group spent several days 
in Davao City, home of the Filipina 
woman guide for the tour. Davao City 
has large urban poor communities and 
many labor unions among the fruit 
plantations and other industries. It is 
also a hub of NPA activities, which 
means there is a large, visible military 
presence there as well. 

MCC workers Jan Lugibihl and 
Brenda Stoltzfus live in Olongapo. 
They listen to the stories of women in 
the bars, many of whom come from 
poor provinces and have no other way 
to make a living for their families 
back home. The Learning Tour group 
had a chance to meet three of the 
women who are friends of Lugibihl 
and Stoltzfus. This was one of the 

more emotional times of the trip as the 
women openly shared their feelings 
and life experiences with the group. 

The group returned to Manila for the 
conclusion of the tour. The four days 
there included a trip to Smoky Moun- 
tain, a mammoth garbage heap where 
scores of squatters live, scraping food, 
clothing and shelter from the castoffs 
of the more fortunate. 

Gay Freeman, a teacher from Den- 
ver, said, "Smoky Mountain made the 
situation in the Philippines more con- 
crete for me. I felt it with my feet. I 
sank down into the reality." 

The tour was organized by Dorothy 
Friesen of Chicago and Don Goertzen, 
an MCC worker in Butuan City. They 
were assisted by other members and 
friends of the MCC Philippines team. 
Friesen and her husband, Gene Stoltz- 
fus, served with MCC in the Philip- 
pines between 1976 and 1979. 

In the evaluation and summary per- 
iod at the end of the tour, participants 
expressed their feelings about the in- 
justice, poverty and suffering they had 
seen and the pain they had shared 
with people along the way. Many ex- 
pressed appreciation for their Filipina 
companion from Davao City who had 
become a friend. Most would echo one 
tour member's prayer: "I'm angry and 
confused. Lord, help me to channel 
that energy." 

Tour members also recognized that 
along with the agony, the people they 
met had shared a great deal of love 
and hope and an unshakable faith in 
God. Both Filipinos and MCC workers 
show their hope in the promise of 
God's kingdom by the way they are 
working to make the kingdom reality. 

At the end of the tour, the partici- 
pants brainstormed about concrete 
ways to "channel that energy" back 
home in North America. Melanie 


A Friendship Evangelism seminar 

was held Nov. 1-2, 1985, at Grace Men- 
nonite Church in Brandon, Man. Don 
Yoder of the Commission on Home 
Ministries was the guest speaker. Five 
other churches were represented at the 
seminar, which 44 people attended. 
Yoder said, "Evangelism is more than 
seeking disciples. It is using the Mas- 
ter's plan for making disciples." 

To explore the current revival atmo 
sphere in evangelical and mainline 
Protestant churches, a conference enti- 
tled "Church Growth and the Third 
Wave: Supernatural Healing in the 
Local Church and Managing the Con- 
sequences of Signs and Wonders in the 
Local Church" will be held May 27-29 
in Orlando, Fla. For more information 
contact the conference coordinator at 
Leadership for Ministry, 1608 Nogales 
St., Suite #121, Rowland Heights, CA 
91748, (714) 861-5253. 

The Native Gardening Project is a 

program that Mennonite Central Com 
mittee can't advertise too loudly in 
Canada's native communities. The 
reason: there are far more communi- 
ties willing to accept resident summer 
gardeners than there are people will- 
ing to go to work on Indian reserves. 
In 1985, 18 volunteer gardeners were 
placed in nine communities stretching 
from the Yukon to Bearskin Lake in 
northwestern Ontario. Those inter- 
ested in applying for a summer gar- 
dening position may contact Eric 
Rempel at MCC Canada, 201-1483 
Pembina Highway, Winnipeg, MB R3T 

Wiebes resign positions to start new church in Denver 

Newton, Kan. (WDC, GCMO-Leonard 
Wiebe, pastor at Faith Mennonite 
Church here, and Joan Banman 
Wiebe, Women in Mission coordinator, 
have resigned their positions effective 
late summer to accept a call to start a 
new church in the southeast area of 
metropolitan Denver. 

Leonard Wiebe will have served 
Faith Church 12 years. During that 

time he also served the Commission on 
Home Ministries of the General Con- 
ference as secretary for church plant- 
ing on a part-time basis for three 
years. He is chairperson of the evange- 
lism and church planting reference 
council of CHM. 

During Joan Wiebe's nine-year term 
as WM coordinator, the 10,000-member 
organization has undergone significant 
changes. "Earlier," she says, "a lot of 
our work was supplying material aid. 
More recently ... we have added tele- 
vision awareness, mission education 
materials, seminary scholarships, con- 
tinuing education grants and parent- 
ing for peace and justice to our list of 

Leonard is pleased that he can work 
directly at planting a church on an 
inter-Mennonite basis. "The opportuni- 
ties for church planting today are 
greater than ever before," he says. 

The call for this new work was made 
cooperatively by the Denver Area Men- 
nonite Mission Commission (an organi- 
zation of the four GC and MC churches 

in the Denver area), the home mission 
committee of the Western District Con- 
ference, and the evangelism and 
church development commission of the 
Rocky Mountain Mennonite 

The vision of the Wiebes and the 
supporting groups is to call forth a 
worshiping, serving congregation. This 
church will participate in the larger 
witness of the Mennonite churches of 
the area and will become affiliated 
with both the RMMC and the WDC. 

The idea of a new congregation in 
the southeast area of Denver has been 
developing for a number of years. This 
is an area with a large increase in 
population and an area to which Men- 
nonites have been moving over the 
years. Thus the vision is for a new 
church to begin with a core of inter- 
ested families that will reach out to 
incorporate people in the area who 
resonate with an Anabaptist interpre- 
tation of the gospel, and people who 
can be led to make a commitment to 
accept and follow Christ. 

Mennonite workers help plan Botswana youth fest 

Two hundred young people marching 
through Botswana's rural town of Ma- 
halapye was a first. This was not a 
protest demonstration in strife-torn 
southern Africa but a celebration of 
faith. The young singing marchers in 
colorful uniforms represented more 
than 20 African Spiritual Church 
groups, often referred to as African 
Independent Churches. They had gath 
ered for "Bopaganang '85," the first 
interchurch youth festival of its kind. 

The September 1985 weekend was 
filled with choirs and musical groups, 
question-and-answer sessions, a vigor- 
ous Bible-knowledge quiz, a late-night 
musical event, the Sunday morning 

procession and a tree-planting cere- 
mony in the public square. Samuel 
A. Mohono of Lesotho was speaker and 
resource person. Botswana's Minister 
of Home Affairs, Mr. Kgabo, opened 

the gathering at a church center of the 
Spiritual Healing Church. 

Mennonite Ministries personnel (Af- 
rica Inter-Mennonite Mission and Men- 
nonite Central Committee workers) 
assisted national church leaders with 
planning and arrangements. Mission- 
ary Jonathan Larson writes, "The 
youth festival is now history. It was a 
miracle that it happened at all. When 
it was all over we were a little breath- 
less. I suppose that this is the start of 
something which will become a signifi- 
cant element in the Spiritual Church 
scene, a rare meeting ground for those 
who are going to lead these churches 
in the next decade." 


JANUARY 14, 1986 

"Write a love letter to your congrega- 
tion," suggested Roger Knight, key 
speaker at a Small Church Conference 
in Salina, Kan., at the end of Septem- 
ber 1985. Mennonites joined local 
United Methodists, Presbyterians and 
the United Church of Christ in plan- 
ning the conference. Presenters in- 
cluded David Habegger, Leland Harder 
and Lois Barrett. Workshop topics 
were "Living in the Small Town 
Fishbowl," "Worship Resources," "The 
Church and the Farm Crisis" and 
"Alternatives for Education." 


Jan. 29-Feb. 2— MCC annual meeting, 

Jan. 30— MCC U.S. annual meeting, 

Feb. 7-8— Mennonite Disaster Service 
All-Unit meeting, Winnipeg 

Feb. 28-March 4— Council of Commis- 
sions, Newton, Kan. 

March 9— World Mission Sunday 

April 8-11— Congress on Urban Min- 
istry, Chicago 

May 15-18— Festival of Worship, 
Goshen, Ind. 

July 21-27— General Conference Tri- 
ennial Sessions, Saskatoon, theme: 
"Thy Kingdom Come" 

Sept. 25-28-Aid to Christian Teach- 
ing, Whiting, N.J. 

Jan. 16-18-MCC Canada annual 
meeting, Vancouver 

Feb. 6-8— Canadian Council of 
Boards, Winnipeg 

Feb. 21-22— Conference of Menno- 
nites in Manitoba, Carman 

Feb. 21-23— Conference of Menno- 
nites in British Columbia, Abbotsford 

Feb. 28-March 1— Conference of Men- 
nonites in Saskatchewan, Waldheim 

March 14-16— Conference of Menno- 
nites in Ontario, Waterloo 

March 21-23— Conference of Menno- 
nites in Alberta 

July 4-8— Conference of Mennonites 
in Canada, Waterloo, Ont. 

April 3-5— Central District Confer- 
ence, Washington, 111. 

May 1-4— Eastern District Confer- 
ence, Bedminster, Pa. 

June 12-15— Northern District Con- 

Katie Funk Wiebe, writer, speaker 
and teacher of English at Tabor Col- 
lege, Hillsboro, Kan., wrote and re- 
corded a four-part series of programs 
which were released Nov. 11 -Dec. 6. 
The themes were "Daily Problems 
Need Daily Faith," "Risk to Grow," 
"Growing Up After You're Grown Up" 
and "Help for Your Dreams." For a 
free copy of Wiebe's talks, write to 
Media Ministries, 1251 Virginia Ave., 
Harrisonburg, VA 22801-2497. 

ference, Mountain Lake, Minn. 

June 19-22— Pacific District Confer- 
ence, Aurora, Ore. 

March 21-22— Kansas Mennonite 
Renewal Service meetings, Hesston 
(Kan.) Inter-Mennonite Church 

Oct. 17-19— Western District Confer- 
ence, central Kansas 


Gary Daught resigned as pastor at 
Disciples Fellowship, Duluth, Minn., in 
December 1985. 

David Hall resigned as associate 
pastor at Grantham (Pa.) Brethren in 
Christ Church. He will be pastor at 
First Church, McPherson, Kan., effec- 
tive Aug. 1. 

Don Heiser resigned as pastor at 
Willow Springs (111.) Church to become 
pastor at Maplewood Church, Fort 
Wayne, Ind., both effective in April. 

John Heyerly resigned as pastor at 
Houston Church effective in June. 

Keith Jescke resigned as pastor at 
Swiss Church, Alsen, N.D., in Decem- 
ber 1985. 

David Ortis will become pastor at 
Emmanuel Church, Clearbrook, B.C., 
this summer. 

Kenneth Peterson resigned as pastor 
at First Church, Upland, Calif., to 
become pastor at Calvary Church, 
Aurora, Ore., effective in early 

Perry Rotenberger became assistant 
pastor at First Church, Aberdeen, 
Idaho, this month. 

Bruce Wiebe was ordained to the 
ministry Nov. 17, 1985, at Foothills 
Church, Calgary, where he is the 
youth minister. 

When the evangelism and church 
planting reference council heard that 
the General Board had decided to pray 
every Friday for the renewal of the 
General Conference, its members 
agreed to do the same. Members will 
pray each Friday for the development 
plan and for church planting plans for 
the next 10 years. 


Leonard Wiebe resigned as pastor at 
Faith Church, Newton, Kan., effective 
July 31 to become church planter- 
pastor in Denver in late summer. 

Arthur Wiens resigned as pastor at 
Ebenfeld Church, Herschel, Sask. 

Richard Ziemer, interim pastor at 
Eden Church, Schwenksville, Pa., has 
accepted a permanent pastorate there. 


Lois Braun, Winnipeg, Man., begins a 
voluntary service term under Commis- 
sion on Overseas Mission/ Africa Inter- 
Mennonite Mission in January. She 
will be working with Lycee Miodi, a 
girl's secondary school in Nyanga, 

Glenn and Mary Burkholder, Stuarts 
Draft (Va.) Church and Warden (Wash.) 
Church, respectively, began three-year 
Mennonite Central Committee terms 
in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Glenn is work- 
ing as regional coordinator and agri- 
cultural extensionist and Mary is a 
teacher and nutritionist. He received 
an associate degree in production agri- 
culture from Hesston (Kan.) College. 
She received a bachelor's degree in 
vocational home economics education 
from Bethel College in North Newton, 
Kan. Glenn's parents are the Lyle S. 
Burkholders of Waynesboro, Va. 
Mary's parents are the John M. Un- 
ruhs of Warden. 

Denise Buuck, Redeemer Lutheran 
Church, Mercer Island, Wash., began a 
one-year Mennonite Voluntary Service 
term as a chore service supervisor at 
Freemont Public Association in Seat- 
tle. She is a graduate of Concordia 
Lutheran College in Ann Arbor, Mich. 
Her parents are Herbert and Elnore 


Camp Assiniboia, near Winnipeg, 
was the location for Manitoba's 10th 
annual deacons' retreat, which was 
held Nov. 8-10, 1985. Sixty-four adults 
and 24 children participated in the 
weekend retreat. Ernie Isaac, pastoral 
counselor at Eden Mental Health Cen- 
ter in Winkler, Man., spoke on the 
theme "Deacons in a Caring 

At the Oct. 30, 1985, meeting of the 
Accrediting Commission of the Ameri- 
can Association of Bible Colleges held 
at Arlington Heights, 111., Columbia 
Bible Institute, Clearbrook, B.C., was 
given candidate status for accredita- 
tion. AABC has over 100 member col- 
leges representing about 35,000 stu- 
dents in North America. CBI students 
will now receive even greater credit 
transfer of work taken at the school in 
institutions like the University of Wa- 
terloo, Trinity Western University and 
Christian colleges in Canada and the 
United States. 

"Spirituality and Social Justice: an 

Essential Relationship for Urban Min- 
istry" is the theme for the fifth na- 
tional Congress on Urban Ministry, to 
be held April 8-11 in Chicago. Plenary 
speakers include Walter Bruegge- 
mann, George Clements, Murphy 
Davis, Vincent Harding, Alvaro 
Nieves, Tom Sine, Barbara Williams- 
Skinner and Jeremiah Wright. They 
will address the subthemes "Blessed 
Are the Poor," "Blessed Are Those 
Who Hunger After Righteousness" 
and "Blessed Are the Peacemakers " 
Contact SCUPE, 30 W. Chicago Ave., 
Chicago, IL 60610, (312) 944-2153. 

Buuck Campbell 

Katrina Campbell, First United Pres- 
byterian Church, Coeur d' Alene, 
Idaho, began a two-year MVS term as 
an art therapy assistant at Edgewood 
Children's Center in St. Louis. She 
received a bachelor's degree in art 
from Whitworth College, Spokane, 
Wash. Her parents are William Camp- 
bell, Shalimar, Fla., and Catherine 
Ryen, Spokane. 

John Coffey, St. Petersburg (Fla.) 
Friends Meeting, began a two-year 
MVS term as an intake caseworker at 
the Free Store in Cincinnati, Ohio. He 
is a graduate of Guilford College and 
the Earlham School of Religion. His 
parents are Evelyn and William Coffey 
of Zephyrhills, Fla. 

Edward Cornelson, a teacher at Elim 
Bible Institute, Altona, Man., is head- 


ing up a new ministry-to-agriculture 
program. It is being developed out of 
the peace and social concerns commit- 
tee of MCC Manitoba. It is a two-year 
term on a voluntary service basis. 

Dori and Rick Cornelsen, Sherbrooke 
Church, Vancouver, began two-year 
MCC terms in Nain, Labrador, work- 
ing as community youth workers. Dori 
received a bachelor's degree in anthro- 
pology and Rick received a bachelor's 
degree in sociology, both from the Uni- 
versity of Winnipeg. Her parents are 
Ben and Esther Zerbe of Minneapolis. 
His are Erwin and Hildur Cornelsen of 

Bill Epp, Eigenheim Church, Ros- 
thern, Man., began a two-year MCC 
term in Saskatoon as a supervisory 
assistant at the Saskatoon Food Bank. 


His parents are Ed and Katie Epp of 

Loretta Fast, First Church, Mountain 
Lake, Minn., began an MCC term in 
Sudan, working as a community 
health nurse with the Eastern Sudan 
Refugee Program. She received a bach- 
elor's degree in nursing from Goshen 
(Ind.) College. Her parents are the 
Peter A. Fasts of Mountain Lake. 

Bonita and John Friesen, Rosthern 
(Sask.) Church, began three-year MCC 
terms in Bangladesh. John is a live- 
stock specialist and Bonita is a wom- 
en's adviser in the Rural Savings Pro- 
gram. John received a diploma in 

Summer service opportunities 

The Commission on Overseas Mission of the 

General Conference Mennonite Church is 
accepting applications from young people 
interested in the overseas summer missions 
program. Volunteers are responsible to obtain 
their own financial support. COM will make all 
other arrangements. 

For further information, contact: 
Personnel Office 

Commission on Overseas Mission 
Box 347 

Newton. KS 671 14 
(316) 283-5100. 


JANUARY 14, 1986 

"The apartheid system has been 
implemented so successfully in South 
Africa that some whites are amazed 
when you take them into a black com- 
munity and show them what is hap- 
pening there," said Athol Jennings, a 
white South African Methodist minis- 
ter who believes the system of racial 
segregation practiced in his country is 
fundamentally wrong and who is com- 
mitted to resisting it through non- 
violent means. He recently visited 
churches and campuses in British 
Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario as 
part of a tour sponsored in part by 
Mennonite Central Committee. 

The annual MCC Washington Semi- 
nar is scheduled for Feb. 23-25 on 
Capitol Hill. Sessions will be held at 
the Pentagon, in Senate office build- 
ings and at MCC's location on Capitol 
Hill and will include a range of gov- 
ernment and private agency resource 
persons on current international and 
domestic issues. Anyone interested in 
attending may request a registration 
form from Richard Blackburn, Lom- 
bard Mennonite Peace Center, 528 E. 
Madison, Lombard, IL 60148, (312) 
627-5310. The official application dead- 
line is Jan. 31. 

The Mennonite bicentennial celebra- 
tion will move to Toronto's Harbour- 
front Aug. 2-4. For the up to 25,000 
people expected there for Simcoe Day 
Weekend it will be an opportunity to 
learn about Mennonite faith and cul- 
ture. Plans include a film festival, 
drama, storytelling, exhibits of arts 
and crafts, and food with a Dutch and 
Swiss Mennonite flavor. 






agriculture from the University of 
Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. Bonita 
received a bachelor's degree in theol- 
ogy from Canadian Mennonite Bible 
College in Winnipeg. His parents are 
Henry and Helen Friesen, and hers 
are Homer and Gredi Janzen, all of 

John Funk, United Church of Christ, 
Kohler, Wis., began a two-year MVS 
term as a counselor at the Downtown 
Emergency Service Center in Seattle. 
He received a degree in history from 
the University of Wisconsin. His par- 
ents are Glenn and Mary Funk. 

Eldon and Eunice Gerbrandt, Wild- 
wood Church, Saskatoon, began two- 
year MCC terms at Akron, Pa. Eldon 
is working in maintenance, and 
Eunice is the hostess, both at MCC 
headquarters. They have four children, 
Duncan, Holly, Sheldon and Anna. 

Roy and Sheralyn Wolfe Goering, 
Eden Church, Moundridge, Kan., and 
Mount Royal Church, Saskatoon, re- 
spectively, began two-year MVS terms 
as child-care workers at the Friendship 
Day Care Center in Hutchinson, Kan. 
His parents are Dorothy and Homer 
Goering. Hers are Martha and Willard 

Judy and Tim Goertzen, Southern 
Hills Church, Topeka, Kan., and Alex- 

Goer tzens 

anderwohl Church, Goessel, Kan., 
respectively, began three-year MCC 
terms in Burkina Faso. Tim is working 
in water resource and agricultural 
development and Judy in health and 
nutrition. Judy received a bachelor's 
degree in social work and home eco- 
nomics, and Tim received a bachelor's 
degree in business administration, 
both from Bethel College in North 
Newton, Kan. Her parents are Jack 
and Elizabeth Unruh of Topeka. His 
are Milton and Linda Goertzen of 

John and Betty Grasse, Ephrata, Pa., 
will begin a term of service in the 
spring under COM/AIMM as medical 
workers in the Kalonda/Tshikapa area 
of Zaire. 

Marcus Heinrichs, West Abbotsford 

Church, Clearbrook, B.C., began a two- 
year MCC term at Akron, Pa., working 
as a printer at MCC headquarters. His 
parents are Alfred and Ann Heinrichs 
of Clearbrook. 

Marjorie and Roland Krause, Lor- 
raine Avenue Church, Wichita, Kan., 
began two-year MCC terms in 
Ephrata, Pa., where he is a family 
physician and she is a clerk in the 
SELFHELP Crafts store. Their chil- 
dren are Peter, David, Judy and Mark. 

Christine Neufeld, Eden Church, 
Moundridge, Kan., began an 18-month 
MVS term as an arts and crafts direc- 
tor for Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno, 
Calif. She received a degree in art 
education from Bluffton (Ohio) College. 
Her parents are Frieda and Walter 
Neufeld of Ransom, Kan. 

Elizabeth and Steve Pankratz, Bethel 
Church, Mountain Lake, Minn., began 
five-month MCC terms in Mexico. He 
is an earthquake relief coordinator and 
she is an assistant. She received a 
bachelor's degree in education and 
music and he received a bachelor's 
degree in business administration, 
both from Bluffton (Ohio) College. 
Their children are Rachel, Lisa and 
Matthew. His mother is Mabel 
Pankratz of Mesa, Ariz. Her father is 
Howard Raid of Bluffton. 


Redemption story 

The Color Purple, directed by Steven 
Spielberg, written by Menno Meyjes, 
produced by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen 
Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Quincy 

Reviewed by Gordon Houser, assistant 

The Color Purple begins innocently, 
with two young girls playing happily 
in a field. Then their father, a dark, 
brooding figure, calls them to supper. 
He tells the older girl, Celie, that she's 
ugly. In the next scene, Celie gives 
birth to a girl on a cold winter night, 
and the father, who is also the baby's 
father, takes the newborn away 

Thus begins this drama of salvation 
in the rural south in the first third of 
this century. Thus begins a battle be- 
tween the virtues of love and joy and 
the forces of hatred and sorrow. We 
witness Celie's tragic loss of hope, 
then see it slowly reborn. 

This powerful film, based on the 
Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice 
Walker, unfolds a parable of the gos- 
pel. God's love, manifested through 
some unlikely characters, breaks 
through terrible circumstances to 
bring redemption not only to Celie 
(Whoopi Goldberg) but to her wider 
family. Although the story might be 

labeled man-hating, even Albert 
(Danny Glover), Celie's husband, who 
beats her, becomes a tragic character 
who in the end performs a loving act. 

Steven Spielberg has finally de- 
parted from his usual adventure or 
horror genre geared for younger teen- 
agers to make a realistic drama. He 
brings suspense out of apparently ordi- 
nary situations. He injects humor into 
a story that was perhaps too dour orig- 
inally. And he moves from one scene to 
another so creatively that we sit in 
wonder at how well and how often he 
pulls it off. 

The Color Purple is the most compel- 
ling and best-made film I've seen in 
several years. It can move one to tears 
of sorrow and of joy. The acting is ex- 
cellent. As in A Soldier's Story, we see 
how many fine black actors aren't 
getting much work elsewhere. The 
music by Quincy Jones is delightful. 

Note: The film contains language that 
may offend some viewers. 

Loves lost 

Out of Africa, produced and directed 
by Sydney Pollack, written by Kurt 

Reviewed by Gordon Houser 

In 1913 Karen Dinesen, a wealthy 
Dane, married Swedish Baron Bror 
Blixen, whom she did not love, and 
went to live on a farm at the foot of 
the Ngong Hills in East Africa. There 
she fell in love with Africa and with a 
free spirit named Denys Finch Hatton. 
Eventually she lost them both. 

Out of Africa is based on the story of 
this remarkable woman who wrote 
beguiling stories under the name Isak 
Dinesen about the 17 years she spent 
in Africa. It is a love story on two lev- 
els. The film concentrates on the affair 
between Karen (Meryl Streep) and 
Denys (Robert Redford). The book Out 
of Africa says almost nothing about 
this. Instead it reveals her love for 
Africa, the land and its people, which 
she depicts in beautiful, detailed prose. 
The film doesn't neglect this love af- 
fair with the "dark continent." Lush 
scenes of the landscapes, the horizons, 
the wild animals, fill the screen. These 
scenes show us the attachment Dine- 
sen felt to the land. 

The major flaw of the film is the 
character of Finch Hatton. He's made 
into an almost mythic figure. He 
doesn't seem human enough. Thus 
when she loses him we don't fully 
share her sorrow. But when she loses 
her farm and must leave Africa, we 
feel more deeply, even without the 
fuller treatment it could have been 
given, her pain. 

Out of Africa is beautifully shot and 
well-acted. It could have been better, I 
think, with greater development of 
this woman's love for Africa. Neverthe- 
less, we come away loving her— the 
land, the woman— all the same. 

For fun, here's my list of the 10 best 
films of 1985: 

1. The Color Purple 

2. The Purple Rose of Cairo 

3. Out of Africa 

4. Streetwise 

5. Kiss of the Spider Woman 

6. Mask 

7. Witness 

8. The Emerald Forest 

9. Cocoon 

10. Prizzi's Honor 

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JANUARY 14, 1986 


Information left out 

I'd like to call your attention to a 
small error in the news section of The 
Mennonite, Oct. 22, 1985. (It's an error 
made by the correspondent, I'm sure, 
and not the editorial staff.) It is in the 
item on the Oklahoma Convention, the 
last paragraph. The Cheyenne Chris- 
tian hymn was sung not just by the 
Koinonia Church but by a group from 
Koinonia Church in Clinton, Okla., 
and Bethel Church in Hammon, Okla. 
Elvina N. Martens, Box 116, Hammon, 
OK 73650 

Nov. 17 

Letters judgmental 

I find our Mennonite rating high by 
every standard of a church periodical. 
The writing quality of feature articles 
and choice of subject material are ex- 

The letter section has worthwhile, 
tactful responses generally. The Dec. 
10, 1985, issue contains two letters 
critical of Peter Ediger's "I Am a Fun- 
damentalist" (Aug. 27, 1985, issue) by 
Philip Friesen, Taiwan, and Herbert 
Dalke, Sterling, 111. 

"Open Letter to Peter Ediger" by 
Mr. Friesen pained me. Why? Because 
it was a ruthless attack by a Christian 
brother of another Christian brother. It 
lacked every quality of the relation- 
ship that should exist between mem- 
bers of God's family. 

Mr. Friesen could have expressed 
himself in terms not portraying him- 
self as the ultimate in biblical inter- 
pretation. Words can be very poor vehi- 
cles for expressing feelings. Some of 

Camp administrator needed 

Camp Deerpark, Westbrookville, N.Y., is 
looking for a camp administrator to begin in 
early 1986. Responsibilities will include: 

1. overseeing camp operations 

2. financial planning 

3. publicity and fund raising 

4. long-range camp development 

5. personnel management. 

Submit resumes to: 
Leonor C. Kennell 
Box 513 

Westbrookville, NY 12785. 

Camp Deerpark is located near the Catskill 
Mountains and serves the New York City 
Mennonite churches and other urban 

his phrases, "sheep in wolfs clothing," 
"trying to be funny," "deliberate at- 
tempt to deceive," sound extremely 
judgmental. That kind of quality 
would never qualify me as a funda- 
mentalist. Mr. Friesen, are you sure 
Peter Ediger's words meant what you 
say they did? 

Mr. Dalke's letter in the same issue, 
though not as cutting, ends with, "I 
believe the Bible has its own best 
statements on these topics." Very true. 
But it is limited, sinful man who bat- 
tles over what they mean. Lydia Ewert, 
309 S. Cedar, Hillsboro, KS 67063 

Dec. 11 

More about Jesus 

In Jesus as a "foundation of our faith" 
(Nov. 26, 1985, issue), J. Denny Weaver 
excellently describes those features of 
our Lord which Mennonites have al- 
ways emphasized. However, he gives 
little attention to additional features 
which other Christians— and most 
Mennonites— have stressed. 

According to Weaver, Mennonites 
take "most seriously" those early ecu- 
menical councils which declared Jesus 
was of "one substance with the Fa- 
ther" and "truly God." Yet Weaver's 
own terms for this dimension of Jesus 
are "ultimate reference point," "focal 
point," the one in whom "we see mani- 
fested the will and presence of God," 
the one in whom "the kingdom of God 
is most fully revealed," etc. Such 
terms need indicate no more than a 
great teacher or prophet, a worthy 
instrument used by God. I miss the 

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Coaching responsibilities include softball, 
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philosophy of HPER, adapted PE and sport 
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emphasis that when Jesus comes 
among us and suffers for us, God him- 
self—and not merely God's representa- 
tive—lives with us and dies for us. 

In one sentence Weaver mentions 
Jesus' resurrection as "victory over the 
ultimate enemy of death. . . ." Other- 
wise, however, his article is devoted to 
showing (very capably) what Jesus 
means for earthly life. But if death is 
indeed the ultimate enemy, I wish 
more attention had been given to Je- 
sus' function in delivering us from it. 
(Perhaps Weaver gives this little atten- 
tion because his biblical foundations 
seem to come mostly from the synoptic 
Gospels and seldom from Paul, He- 
brews or John.) 

Weaver affirms both that Jesus is 
divine and the Savior from death. I'd 
like to see this more developed in an 
article on Jesus as the "foundation of 
our faith." Thomas Finger, 5748 West 
Race, Chicago, IL 60644 

Dec. 13 

Our sentences 

Sr. Margaret Kiefer and I were sen- 
tenced Dec. 2, 1985, for the July 16 
planting of sprouted wheat at Consoli- 
dated Space Operations Center. Sr. 
Margaret was given a $50 suspended 
fine, and I was given two days in jail 
and given credit due to 10 days in jail 
last July. Our lawyer split the court 
cost of $96 with us. The judge was 
sympathetic and lenient, stating that 
our wheat sprouts probably improved 
the land. Thanks to all who supported. 
Esther L. Kisamore, 411 West Bijou 
St., Colorado Springs, CO 80905 

Dec. 13 

MCC BC executive director 

Applications are invited for the position of 
executive director for MCC BC. 

—Position opens early 1986, appointment 
time flexible 

—Salary commensurate with MCC policy 

— a scriptural understanding that combines a 

word-and-deed expression; 
— proven administrative experience, with a 

service record desirable; 
—apt communication skills. 

Apply by Feb. 28 to: 
Personnel Committee, MCC BC 
Box 2038 

Clearbrook, BC V2T 3T8 
(604) 859-4141. 


Editor's journal jottings 

From Oct. 24-Dec. 2, 1985, I visited Paraguay, Uruguay, 
Brazil, Colombia and Panama. This included a 2%-week 
preaching assignment in Paraguay. In this and the next two 
issues of The Mennonite / share some of the notes recorded 
in my daily diary during those days. Bernie Wiebe 

Thursday, Oct. 24 

It seems like just another series of services, except that I 
am not going alone. Accompanying me to serve in the Par- 
aguay churches is the Spencer Quartet— four men from the 
Grunthal (Man.) Bergthaler Church, farmers who have 
been singing together for 25 years. We raised our own 
funds to pay for the trip. All services will be in German. 

Suddenly, at Miami International Airport, it becomes 
clear that this is a different trip. I am to go to the VARIG 
counter— a Brazilian airline. 

Friday, Oct. 25 

The first surprise. Arriving at the Mennoheim (Mennonite 
Hotel) in Asuncion, we trade in some U.S. dollars for 
Guarani. Suddenly, instead of $50 I have 35,000 Guarani. 
It feels rich. A soft drink costs 100 G. 

Saturday, Oct. 26 

Our first of 25 services in the Chaco— at the Mennonite 
High School (Colegio Menonita) in Loma Plata. A kind 
reception. They request one English song by the quartet, 
then find the strange sounds of "Just a little talk with 
Jesus" to be hilariously funny. 

Much to our amazement, word about this "strange En- 
glish" spread across the colony like wildfire. Everywhere 
we went, people requested "at least one" English song. 

We visit a critically ill Mr. Kehler at the hospital. 

Sunday, Oct. 27 

Sunday in the Chaco. Close to 100°F. The new Elim 
Church in Loma Plata is full and many sit outside. Pastor 
Abram Wiebe, also the area conference leader, welcomes us 

First impression: Wow, way over half the people present 
are under 20. Tons of young children. People here must 
still believe that children are "a heritage from the Lord" 
(Psalm 127:3). 

This evening we serve at the Lengua Indian Church on 
the edge of Loma Plata. We learn about mahana— some- 
thing we soon came to appreciate. At 6 p.m., which is to be 
the starting time, one person stands in the church door 
(see photo). The soccer (they call it football) game is not yet 
over. By 6:45 the church is SRO (standing room only). All 
the windows are open and surrounded by people. Three of 
their choirs sing beautifully, with instrumental accompani- 
ment, before our turn comes. 

I preach in Low German; missionary John Toews inter- 
prets into Lengua. 

Another impression. Late at night Pastor Wiebe and sev- 
eral other Elim leaders go to serve communion to Mr. 


iternational Frank and Mary Doerksen at 
irport customs in Asuncion 

Kehler at the hospital and to receive him into church 
membership. Following the morning service, at a special 
membership meeting, they vote almost unanimously in 
favor of the dying man's request. He has made a commit- 
ment to Christ after a wayward life and now wants to be- 
come part of God's family. A moving experience with a 
profound spiritual impact. 

I get introduced to the green, herbal tea ("yerba") that 
seems to be a trademark at almost every home here. It's 
good cold or hot. 

Monday, Oct. 28 

I awake early to the sound of a messenger on the yard of 
Rev. Wiebe. Yes, only a few hours after his being accepted 
as a fellow believer in the body of Christ, Mr. Kehler died. 
The funeral is this afternoon— with the church full again. 

Tonight we serve at a youth Bible study in Loma Plata. I 
am impressed when I see well over 200 young people— the 
majority with Bibles. Later, one of the deacons tells me 
they have 600 young people among their families. 

People here talk a lot about "fences." Took me a while to 
discover they mean their acreage out of town, usually im- 
plying some (in some cases many) cattle on that acreage 
and sometimes also a "cottage." 

Another concept new to me is their use of "bunch." 
Young people's meetings may be referred to as "bunch." 
Upon reflection, it seems quite appropriate. 

Thursday, Oct. 31 

This evening's muddy roads lead to the Buena Vista 
Church. In spite of the weather, flashlights glimmer all 
over as many people walk to church. Once again a packed 

Halloween in the Chaco? Sure enough, we are awakened 
at night to crashing noises and the roar of many motor- 
bikes. I wondered about the old fashioned two-holer these 
folks used in their backyard. 

Next morning we find one feeding crib capsized in the 
pasture. No other pranks. 

Friday, Nov. 1 

I won't forget this day too easily. We visit a widower who 
less than a month ago buried his 47-year-old wife. She died 
of cancer ... 10 children left without a mother. The numb- 
ness of shock is still strong. 

After the evening service, a young couple seeks me out 
privately. They are struggling with critical marital 

As I walk home about 1 a.m. I suddenly realize how 
pitch dark the Chaco can become. There have been other 
nights when I expressed amazement at how the stars 
seemed to stand out like suspended ceiling lights. I suspect 
part of this new awareness came because in this climate 
the people are living close to nature. But tonight I am lost 
in the dark. After three false driveways, I finally spot a 
landmark. What a relief! For some mysterious reason, the 

At the Asuncion Mennoheim 

The Elim Church, Loma Plata 

dog doesn't bark. He comes to me as if I belong. I salvage a 
rather unnerving half hour. Sleep like a log. 

Saturday, Nov. 2 

Hit our first snag. Rained out at South Menno. "Not to 
worry," we are told. "You'll serve elsewhere." Get a taste of 
the Chaco network. Within hours we are told that services 
have been switched to Grunthal and Weidenfeld. 

Visit with the Henry Friesens of Loma Plata. They are 
hoping to study in Canada during the 1986-87 school year 
in the area of social work. Being assisted by Mennonite 
Mental Health Services. Also expecting a baby at any min- 
ute. (Patrick, their son, got a brother.) 

Sunday, Nov. 3 

What a day! Ride to Grunthal in back of a pickup (they use 
a Spanish word which I don't quite catch— some of us are 
slow, you know) and actually put on a jacket. It can be cool 
in the Chaco even as they are in their spring. 

Two packed houses! Beautiful fellowship in the home of 
pastor Willie Reimer. Three inquisitive sons— Amando, 7, 
Ronald, 6, Edelbert, 5. "Are you serious that in Winnipeg 
the snow can be higher than a car?" My reply, "That's not 
serious. We worry when the drifts reach the edge of the 
rooftops." "Wow, I'd love to see that," is the eager reply of 

Willie is a part-time pastor (of both churches) and a part- 
time farmer. He shows me the machines they use to tame 
the Chaco (a "strucka" to strike down small trees and 
large weeds, a "rippa" to tear up the virgin soil). 

Besides farming and pastoring, Willie has a vision for 
missions and evangelism to the far corners of the globe. We 
find ourselves in such kindred concerns and discussion that 
time flies even more than usual. Our keen friendship will 
continue; we both feel it and express it. Strong opinions 
about conferences. 

Monday, Nov. 4 

By now I have learned the value of the Chaco "siesta." I'm 
not normally a daytime napper. But here it becomes vital 
for energy retention and replenishment. It has become a 
beautiful, personal time I quite enjoy. 

One of my aunts (Father's sister) was among the 1926 
emigrants from Canada to the Chaco. For the first time in 
my life I've met a first cousin, Mrs. Lise Penner, and her 
husband, John. They are retired and live in a unit by the 
home for the elderly. We become fast friends and I go there 
each chance I get. She was almost a teenager when she left 
Manitoba before I was born. Already they have fascinated 
me with new stories about my grandfather and other rela- 
tives. Today we make plans together to drive (they want 
me to be the chauffeur in their VW) to South Menno and 
visit my only other surviving first cousin there— Maria, 
who is 76 and was in her mid-teens when they moved to 
Paraguay. It's exciting to anticipate more discoveries. 

Tuesday, Nov. 5 

The Trans Chaco Mission board has the quartet and me for 
breakfast. Seven years ago they received affirmation to 
work as a special, voluntary (not Conference-budgeted) 
ministry directed at about a million Paraguayan people in 
an area with few churches and little acquaintance with the 
Bible. The seven "official" (some have up to three meeting- 
houses) churches of Menno Colony all have representatives 
on the board. 

Their director, Johann Hiebert, tells about their radio 
broadcasts, Bible and Testament distribution, film ministry 
and personal visitation. Have several nationals working 
with them. Some churches started. 

Today we go to Filadelfia in the Fernheim Colony for a 
service there. It's a different world from Menno! Filadelfia 
is a bustling, booming town. Schedules sound like home. 
Our first church that feels empty. (They were actually sur- 
prised that 300-400 people attended. But the church has a 
capacity of 1,500.) 

Wednesday, Nov. 6 

Another day in the life .... We rush over to ZP30 studios 
to tape a meditation, songs and interview. Our hosts hustle 
us over to the home for the aged ("Abendfrieden"— I like 
the name: "evening peace"). These people don't want us to 
leave, but cars are honking. Next stop is Hoffnungsheim 
("home of hope"— another pleasant name), the mental 
health center. All this before lunch. The visit in Fernheim 
was too short. 

Now off to Neuland Colony for a service at Neu-Halb- 
stadt. More like a full (not totally) house again. 

The day is too full to absorb it. I feel like I've been in a 
whirlwind. It is fortunate that they decided to put some of 
us up at the Hotel Boqueron. I readily volunteer for a 
chance to retreat and regroup. It is needed both physically 
and spiritually. These people have a way of drawing from 
me everything I've got. 

That's not a criticism. I'm riding high in the Chaco. The 
people in Menno are my people; their roots are identical to 
my own and they speak a Low German just like I do. We 
mesh. They express amazement. I feel it too. God is giving 
me even more than I had anticipated. Thank you, Lord. 

Tonight some of the Neuland people tell me they know of 
me through Der Bote and from some of their leaders who 
read The Mennonite. One man strikes me as resembling 
one of the few people I knew from Neuland (He studied in 
Canada and the United States). He is the father. They ex- 
press gratitude that we serve the same Lord. Somehow the 
thousands of geographic miles are suddenly collapsed into 
warm embrace and shared prayers. The family of God— the 
body of Christ— is truly an incredible fabric. Lord, thanks 
for letting me experience your Holy Spirit in such powerful 
and unforgettable ways. 

Is it possible? Now we have been on the road for two 
weeks. It feels like one ongoing day. 

Children in one 

uth at Rev. A. Wiebe's Family waits for mother on the Loma Plata Pastor at the Lengua Church, Lengua of the Chaco 


Civil religion and Mennonites 

Brian Dyck 

How should the Christian relate to the 
state? This question goes to the roots 
of our Anabaptist faith, and we have 
had to deal with it in every country 
and under every government we have 
faced. When we were a clear minority 
facing a state church that we did not 
agree with, it was easy to speak of 
separation of church and state and 
staying clear of government involve- 
ment. Now things are different. Now 
governments tell us we have religious 
freedom, and we are not being killed 
for what we believe. 

Here in North America, religion 
played an important role in the devel- 
opment of the peoplehood of Canada 
and the United States. Many who first 
came here came largely for religious 
reasons. They wanted to be free of the 
Church of England. Of those who came 
to settle in North America in the 17th 
century, no group made a greater con- 
tribution to the development of what is 
now the American Civil Religion than 
the Puritans who came to Massachu- 
setts Bay in 1629. 

The Puritans were a small religious 
sect who wanted to purify England 
and the church. They were influenced 
greatly by John Calvin and were con- 
cerned mostly with moral issues. They 
had great difficulty working for 
change and, in the early 17th century, 
some of them thought of leaving En- 
gland and going to settle in the new 

Civil religion can 
become a temptation 
to any peoplehood 
committed to a 

world. There they could set up their 
city— "a city set on a hill"— a shining 
beacon for all the world to see and 
copy. They would be God's faithful 
remnant who had crossed the Red Sea 
into the Promised Land. There they 
would make a covenant with God and, 
if they obeyed his command and were 
just and righteous, they would be re- 
warded. And if they failed, they would 
perish in the wilderness. 

With these high ideals and deep 
responsibilities, the settlement of the 
new world began. As the difficulties of 
the first years faded and those who 
had been born in the new land began 
to take charge, the dream of God's 
community seemed less and less a 
reality. Still, a belief that this land 
held something special lived on. Even 
today many Americans believe that 
the United States and the ideals it 
stands for hold a special place in God's 

This American tradition is not our 
tradition as a Mennonite people, but 
those of us who have lived in the 
United States for an extended length 
of time or have gone to public school 
there are familiar with at least the 
spirit of the tradition. On Thanksgiv- 
ing Day we hear the "creation story" 
and how the Pilgrims came to this 
land to gain freedom. In American 
history, a class every U.S. high school 
student takes, we hear of heroes of the 
faith such as Washington, Jefferson 
and Lincoln. There are hymns and a 
creed which speaks of "liberty and 
justice for all." 

Today religious leaders such as Jerry 
Falwell and Pat Robertson are also 
promoting the faith in the American 
Civil Religion from their highly visible 
pulpits. Their civil religion seems to 
ignore some of the responsibilities of 
the original covenant that the Puri- 
tans made. 

We Mennonites have a special re- 
sponsibility here because of our tradi- 
tion in relating to the state. 

The civil religion of today seems to 
use the church and God to justify the 
actions of the state. In the 16th cen- 
tury the Anabaptists split from the 
Catholic and state churches because 
they believed in separation of the 
church and state. Perhaps today's Civil 
Religion is the new official church. We 

We owe it to the world and to our tradition 
to remain a prophetic voice, regardless of 
which nation is our home. 

must not offer blind loyalty to the 
state as the French did under Napo- 
leon or the Germans did under Hitler 
and which some modern interpreters of 
the American Civil Religion seem to 
be calling us to do. The church has a 
responsibility to be a prophetic voice to 
the state. 

On the other hand, we cannot reject 
the American Civil Religion as many 
who fear and resent the actions of the 
United States have done. The Ameri- 
can Civil Religion has many problems, 
and early the covenant to live as a just 
and righteous community was broken. 
But the original covenant was good 
and there are many positive ideals in 
it. Just as we should try to work with 
the culture and traditions that we 
meet in a traditional mission field, so 
too we must work with the culture and 
tradition we meet at home. We must 
call America back to the covenant it 
broke and urge it to be a force for a 
free and just world community. 

Brian Dyck, a native of Newton, Kan., 
works on the kitchen staff at Canadian 
Mennonite Bible College and resides at 
181 Balmoral St., Winnipeg, MB R3C 


JANUARY 14, 1986 


Keep Christmas in the new year 

My thoughts wandered as I took the dusty Christmas deco- 
rations off the mantle and began packing them away in 
boxes. How quickly the holidays had come and gone. The 
memory of them was already blurred. 

"Keep Christmas well." Those words of a dear friend 
echoed through my mind. I felt a deep sense of remorse. 
Despite last year's resolutions and the fact that I had 364 
days to prepare for Christmas, I had again found myself 
uptight and irritable as I raced to get everything done. By 
the time Christmas arrived, I had been too tired to even 
enjoy it, much less to "keep it well." 

For one fleeting moment during the Christmas Eve wor- 
ship service I looked up at the cross and felt the wonder of 
Christ's birth. God sent his Son as a babe knowing full 
well that he would one day hang on a cross for my sins. "O 
come let us adore him," I had sung with a swelling heart. 
But all too quickly the moment was lost and forgotten as I 
rushed home to arrange the buffet of goodies and wrap 
those last few gifts. 

"Oh Lord, please forgive me," I prayed as I slumped into 
a chair and fought back the tears that were ready to spill 
down my cheeks. 

It won't do any good to get depressed, I chided myself. I 
can't push back the clock and relive the last few weeks, 
but I can learn from them. I can learn to begin my prepa- 
rations earlier for next Christmas. I can choose to focus on 
the spiritual instead of the material. I can make time for 
private and family worship. I can teach my children the joy 
of giving gifts of themselves. 

My enthusiasm fell as quickly as the needles from my 
drooping tree. I knew myself too well. As always I would 
succumb to the time pressures that invariably get in the 
way of the things I really want to do. 

I sighed as I continued packing away ornaments and 
lights. I wrestled the tree out of the stand and carried it 
outdoors. How bare and empty the living room looked. 
Only the nativity scene remained on the piano. I began to 
carefully wrap each figure in newspaper, when suddenly it 
occurred to me: leave it there. The scene could remain on 
my piano throughout the year, next to the painting of 
Christ as an adult. Together they affirm that Christmas 
was not an end, but the beginning of God's continuing gift 
to us. 

"O come let us adore him," I again sang as I unwrapped 
the baby Jesus and laid him back in the manger. I would 
keep Christmas by allowing him to be reborn in my heart 
each day. I would be faithful in the work he was calling me 
to do. I would joyfully share his love with others. I would 
triumph over pressures and problems. I would keep Christ- 
mas well— not just 355 days from now but each day of this 
new year. 

Marlene Bagnull 


Once again we have discarded old calendars for new. For many it 
seems we were at this point only yesterday. To others it seemed 
1985 would never end. 

All of us are into a new year. It affords new chances for new life. 
Could this be a Damascus road year for you? Is this the year our 
imitation of God finally will jell into fuller flower? Or is this a year 
when growth will continue almost naturally out of our gratitude to 
God for his blessings last year? 

Wherever you and I stand on the threshold of 1986, God's Spirit 
is beckoning us to move forward in confidence. 

Gusto on a Damascus road 2 

The place of truth 4 

We believe in the church 5 

Be imitators of God 7 

When the babies don't come 8 

Let peace begin with me 9 

News 10 

CMS discusses Christian Peacemakers Team 10 

Second Faith and Farming Conference 11 

Bethel College helps hurting farmers 12 

Record 15 

Redemption story 18 

Loves lost 18 

Letters 19 

Editor's journal jottings— 1 20 

Civil religion and Mennonites 22 

Keep Christmas in the new year 23 

That lonesome valley 24 


Karren Boehr, RFD, Box 57, Henderson, NE 68371, accepted our 
challenge to share an exclusive new-life story with us for the New 

William W. McDermet III, 111 South Downing, Indianapolis, IN 
64219, is a pastor. 

Daniel Zehr, 201-1483 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg, MB R3T 
2C8, is the executive secretary for Mennonite Central Committee 

Our New Year's meditation is by Marlene Bagnull, 316 Blan- 
chard Road, Drexel Hill, PA 19036. 


Cover, 2, Alfred Siemens, 624 Salsbury Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 
3Z9; 3, Paul M. Schrock, Box 200, Scottdale, PA 15683; 4, John 
Hiebert; 5, Esther Kreider Eash, 7516 E. Bayard Park Drive, 
Evansville, IN 47715; 6, Trans Chaco Mission; 7, 20, 21, 23, Bernie 
Wiebe; 8, 22, 24, RNS; 9, Mennonite Children's Choir; 10, Joel 
Kauffmann; 11, Steve Shenk; 13, Dan Epp-Tiessen (MCC); 14, 
Jonathan Larson. 


Editor: Bernie Wiebe 
600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4 / (204) 888-6781 

Assistant editor: Gordon Houser 
722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 / (316) 283-5100 

Editorial assistant: Sharon Sommer 
Art director: John Hiebert 
The Mennonite is a member of the Associated Church Press, 
Evangelical Press Association and Meetinghouse (a Mennonite 
and Brethren in Christ editors' group). It is an associate member of 
the Canadian Church Press. 

Business manager: Dietrich Rempel. Circulation secretary: Marilyn Kauf- 
man. Special editions editors: Central District, Evelyn Krehbiel, 229 Brook- 
wood, Bluffton, OH 45817; Pacific District, Carol Peterson, Box 338, Upland, 
CA 91785; Western District, Debbie Huxman, Box 306, North Newton. KS 
67117; Window to Mission, Lois Deckert, 122 W. Dayton Yellow Springs 
Road, Apt. #4, Fairborn, OH 45324; Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, Richard A. Kauffman, 3003 Benham Ave. Elkhart, IN 46517; and 
Comments, Jeannie Zehr, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 



That lonesome valley 

As I sat down to write our family's Christmas letter 
recently, I looked back on the worst year of my life. 
In August 1985 my wife and I suffered a miscarriage. 
It was our third miscarriage in the space of a year. 

As I've grieved these losses and felt the wounds to 
my faith in God's goodness, I've reflected on suffer- 
ing. Each experience of suffering has brought me in 
touch with others who have suffered. 

I'm convinced that everyone who suffers— and this 
means everyone— must at some point walk alone. The 
old song pulls no punches: "You got to walk that 
lonesome valley. . . . You got to walk it by yourself." 

If I were to design a creed about suffering, I would 
begin with this: Suffering is a mystery. I will not 
pretend to have answers for the why of suffering. 

I've also decided that it does me no good to compare 
sufferings. The statement "It could have been worse" 
holds some comfort, I suppose, but it hasn't helped 
me. Each experience of pain is unique and personal. 
No other experience is quite the same. I do not want 
to judge at what' level of suffering a certain experi- 
ence should be classified. ',>•..•• 

In Dostoevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov, 
Father Zossima embraces a man because, he says, 
the man has suffered^and suffering is holy. Without 
wishing to promote masochism, I believe this. Suffer- 
ing has the potential, at least, to remind us that we 
are mortal, that we are. not in control of events, that 
we depend upon God's mercy for our lives. It can also 
help strip us of superficial concerns, 
of materialism and self-reliance, 
and can help us establish 
proper priorities. 

The philosopher Santayana wrote, "A young man 
who has not wept is a savage, and an old man who 
will not laugh is a fool." With time, I believe, I hope, 
suffering can bring not only empathy but wisdom, 
though it can also instill cynicism. 

Suffering tempers our easy optimism and checks 
our prejudices. You can often recognize those who 
have suffered. They are slow to give opinions when 
some issue is being discussed. They are patient with 
those caught in some sin. They withhold judgment 
because they have felt its sting. 

Suffering, though done in solitude, unites us with 
humanity. We become part of a mysterious movement 
whose design we cannot figure out. We read the Book 
of Job with different eyes. We realize that on the 
cross Jesus was not simply quoting a psalm when he 
screamed, "My God, my God, why have you aban- 
doned me?" He meant it. 

We no longer try to defend God, as did Job's 
friends, who had not come to terms with their own 
suffering. We no longer say to others who are hurt- 
ing, "It was God's will" or, "Some good will come of 
it." We know that silence and tears are more often 

When you suffer a loss, the world changes. Life 
doesn't seem as trustworthy, and you feel unpro- 
tected. Certain things that may have seemed impor- 
tant to you no longer seem so. You're left alone. Your 
closest, most reliable companion is silence. And in 
that silence you may realize that God is present and 
always has been. And you wait ... for your 
deepest— and only real— hope. 

Gordon Houser 


101:02 JANUARY 28, 1986 

'&am ill 

Can you 
love a 


Sanford Boshart 

As Mennonites we claim a radically 
unique method of responding to evil. 
We reject violence as an appropriate 
way of dealing with violence. We pro- 
mote love and understanding as alter- 
natives. Yet our witness on these 
matters tends to be incomplete and 
perhaps shallow. Seldom are we in a 
position to implement the advice we 
may give to others. We avoid holding 
public office or having anything to do 
with the creation and enforcement of 
law. We avoid high-crime neighbor- 
hoods or situations where violence 
may occur. 

Terrorists recently took 39 Ameri- 
cans hostage. People in high places of 
office were forced to respond to them. 
What advice do we give as Menno- 
nites? What would we do in their 

Certainly this is just one example of 
a violent situation. But it may bring 
into focus our inadequacy as Menno- 
nites in being a prophetic witness in 
the land. I personally struggled with 
this issue and found that answers did 
not come easily. Looking back on our 
Anabaptist tradition does not provide 
a lot of guidance. Praying for the ter- 
rorists and their hostages is insuffi- 
cient. Words of caring and sympathy 
will not pacify the desperate people 
who have taken this action. If our own 
lives were at stake, perhaps we should 
be willing to sacrifice ourselves. But 
we cannot be so free to offer up the 
lives of others. 

On the other hand, we sense the 
futility of responses coming from 
American officials. Threats of military 
retaliation, name-calling and other 
such pronouncements have the sound 
of a childish tantrum. The difference is 

that government officials are forced to 
respond in some manner. As Menno- 
nites, we enjoy the luxury of not hav- 
ing this responsibility. 

We have chosen our luxury and per- 
haps are wrong for doing so. If we 
truly understand the best way of deal- 
ing with violence, should we not seek 
positions of social responsibility where 
this knowledge is needed? At least we 
should offer our understanding to peo- 
ple in those positions. But perhaps we 
are not so wise and sure of the an- 
swers ourselves. Admitting it would be 
an expression of Christian humility 
and an important step. 

A common response of Mennonites 
might be to encourage our government 
to do nothing. Doing nothing returns 
responsibility for solving situations to 
other people. If our government chose 
this response, full responsibility would 
fall upon the terrorists to resolve the 
situation they have created. They 
might choose to abandon the project or 
they might choose to kill the hostages 
in order to get the desired attention. 

This response would be a mistake. 
Terrorists are desperate people. They 
lack the moral discipline necessary to 
resolve situations in a satisfactory 
manner. We should hope and pray that 
they repent of their hatred and vio- 
lence. But ignoring them and doing 
nothing will not encourage repentance. 
It will increase their frustration and 

Terrorists become terrorists because 
they have problems they are unable to 
solve by themselves. They are desper- 
ately seeking help. The specific forms 
of aid they demand may not be the 
help we should offer. But if what they 
demand is not what they truly need, 

something better must be offered. This 
is where our government fails in re- 
sponding to terrorists. 

Our government has little or no com- 
mitment to the welfare of Shiites, Ira- 
nians, Salvadorans and a host of other 
groups from which terrorists emerge. 
Our government engages in or else 
supports systematic economic and 
political violence, if not military vio- 
lence, against these groups. As long as 
such policies continue, the problems of 
the oppressed and impoverished will 
grow and their desperation increase. 

Many of the demands of the terror- 
ists and even of the groups they repre- 
sent may be illegitimate. However, 
until their legitimate needs and inter- 
ests are addressed in a sensitive, 
caring manner, those which are 
illegitimate cannot be dealt with 

"... if what 
they demand is 
not what they 
truly need, 
something better 
must be 


26 JANUARY 28, 1986 

The Reagan-type response to terror- 
ism is a classic example of how to in- 
crease hatred and violence within our 
world. His attitude is that terrorists 
are "jackals" who do not deserve the 
slightest attention or concern. How he 
and other Americans who call for mili- 
tary retaliation continue to skip over 
some of the most essential teachings of 
Christ is beyond me. 

"But I say unto you, Love your ene- 
mies, bless them that curse you, do 
good to them that hate you, and pray 
for them who despitefully use you and 
persecute you" (Matthew 5:44 KJV). 

Loving our enemies is complex. It 
requires a great deal of sorting out. 
Seldom does loving others mean doing 
everything they demand. But it does 
require becoming sensitive to their 
needs and their problems, especially in 
the case of people who turn to vio- 
lence. It involves getting close to them, 
which may be dangerous and unpleas- 
ant. Few of us are willing to do that. 
The U.S. government's refusal to hold 
discussions with terrorist groups re- 
flects its lack of interest in under- 
standing them. 

What advice do we give our govern- 
ment in responding to the demands of 
Shiite terrorists holding 39 Americans 
hostage? First, release the 700 pris- 
oners held by Israel. The claim is that 
they were going to be released anyway. 
But much more importantly, let it be 
known that our government will seri- 
ously address the legitimate needs and 
interests of the Shiite people. Let our 
response be a repentance of our failure 
to love these alien people, who have 
become our enemies because of our 
failure to be as concerned for them as 
we are for ourselves. If we zealously 
commit ourselves to their interests as 
we are committed to our own, and they 
choose to remain our enemies, only 


then can we claim an injustice is being 
done against us. 

When American people come face to 
face with the desperate hatred of Sal- 
vadoran, Shiite or Iranian terrorists, 
we face the results of our own influ- 
ence upon other cultures. If we do not 
like what we see, we must change our 

This kind of repentance is alien to 
most of us. We are too filled with pride 
and self-righteousness to believe we 
may be partially responsible for the 
kind of people that terrorists have 
become. We put a huge amount of ef- 
fort into distancing ourselves from 
people such as these. We call them 
animals and inhuman to reinforce the 
attitude that they are not at all like 
us. We refuse to listen to anything that 
indicates their demands may have a 
legitimate basis. We are deceiving 
ourselves. They are no different than 
we are, as many of the returning hos- 
tages have testified. If faced with their 
circumstances, we would be tempted to 
indulge in desperate measures similar 
to those they have taken. 

Several of the hostages have been 
severely criticized for fraternizing with 
their captors and developing an affec- 
tion for them. The presumption is that 
being friendly to the enemy is tanta- 
mount to treason. Perhaps the friendli- 
ness and openness of these hostages 
toward their captors made it much 
more difficult for them to kill. This 
would be the Christian presumption. 
Instead the attitude of most Ameri- 
cans seems to be that being tough and 
aloof is the only way to deal with one's 
enemy. Those who acted otherwise 
have been shamed and ostracized. 
Where have we gotten these attitudes? 
Certainly not from our Bibles. 

To love our enemies is a biblical 
imperative. Not to submit to evil is 
another. Throughout his life Jesus 
refused to meet demands and expecta- 
tions that derived from violence and 
sin. Reconciling the imperative to love 
our enemies with that of not submit- 
ting to evil is a great personal chal- 

"Our own 
repentance must 
precede any effort 
to influence 
secular America" 

lenge. It is also a collective challenge. 

The government continuously claims 
to be acting on our behalf. By voting 
and paying taxes we support its 
claims. If we vote and pay taxes, we 
have the responsibility to expect our 
government to act as we would act. We 
must make it clear that politicians 
and their policies who breed hatred 
and violence do not represent us. 

Acting as leaven within a variety of 
organizations, we are called to zeal- 
ously represent the legitimate inter- 
ests of groups who have become 
enemies to our government. We will 
face laws and government restrictions 
designed to impede our efforts. We will 
be called traitors to our country and 
hated for what we do. It is dangerous 
and unpleasant work. But it is our 
Christian duty. 

To love our enemies is to fly in the 
face of government policy. American 
foreign policy has seldom been consis- 
tent with Christian responsibility. 
Whether its enemies were British, 
American, Indian, Mexican, Confeder- 
ate, German, Japanese, Russian or 
Vietnamese, the American government 
has hated its enemies. It has been 
determined to either coerce submission 
to American interests or destroy them. 

Mennonites have sometimes stood as 
a witness against these policies. At 
other times we have collaborated. By 
remaining silent while we vote for and 
pay our taxes to people who act in this 
manner we are collaborators. Our own 
repentance must precede any effort to 
influence secular America. 

Until we as Americans begin to love 
our enemies, our enemies will multi- 
ply. Even more than during a time of 
war, Mennonite voices are needed in 
the land. The kinds of attitudes being 
nurtured in America today lead to war. 
To speak out after armed conflict has 
begun may be too little too late. If our 
desire is to prevent war, now is the 
time to express sensitive concern for 
our enemies. Let us support each other 
as we challenge the American public 
in this direction. • 

It is tempting for us to try and save 
ourselves from the dangerous stream by 
perching on what seems 
like a secure rock. 

Children often have a way of getting 
under their parents' skin. I am not 
referring to those occasions when chil- 
dren test the rules of the house by 
coming home too late or by participat- 
ing in unapproved activities. I'm refer- 
ring to when sons or daughters 
question the mindset of their parents 
regarding their approach to certain 
religious-political issues. In our case 
the issues are our desire for military 
disarmament and the ways we try to 
bring it about. 

Most Mennonites believe the solution 
to ending the inhumanity of war is to 
get the major powers to disarm and to 
encourage non-violent ways of resolv- 
ing conflict. But our efforts to bring 
about these changes are meager when 
compared to the efforts of those work- 
ing for a military buildup and who 
see military force as the solution to 

Our two sons are not satisfied with 
our responses. Perhaps they do not 
have enough faith. Or, on the other 
hand, they truly believe it is possible 
to influence the most powerful govern- 
ments in the world. (I sometimes think 
we Mennonites believe, without saying 
so, that we cannot really change the 
course of events. After all, "There will 
be wars and rumors of wars." But then 
why did Jesus spend so much time on 
the sick and maimed, since he knew 
they would always exist?) 

Number two son, Kenton, is complet- 
ing a master's degree in political sci- 
ence, specializing in international 
relations. He believes Mennonites tend 
to isolate themselves too much and 
should become more directly involved 
in politics. We should start by studying 
how nations deal with each other and 
how these relations can be influenced. 
This may entail lobbying, educating 
others and/or direct employment in 
agencies in Washington that deal with 
foreign policy. 

Would this sort of action be more or 
less Christian, more or less Mennonite, 
than what we are doing now? In es- 
sence Kenton is challenging us to do 
more by direct involvement inside the 
system instead of criticizing from the 
outside. After all, what will happen in 

28 JANUARY 28, 1986 


Is it all or nothing? 

(An article to encourage dialogue) 

A. Emerson Wiens 

our government if those who share our 
values all stay outside the system? 

Mark, our oldest son, is also critical 
of Mennonites for their "naive ideal- 
ism" and recommends a more prag- 
matic approach. A number of issues 
exist, he believes, which Mennonite 
Christians should support politically 
as steppingstones to disarmament. 
These issues would appear like com- 
promises to many pacifists but could 
generate wide support among many 
other religious and citizen groups. 
While some Mennonite Christians 
would agree with him, I suspect a 
majority of us prefer to remain purists, 
sitting in our comfortable homes in 
Middle America, enjoying the "Ameri- 
can dream" and complaining, not too 
loudly, about the warring tendencies of 
the White House. Having worked for 
several years in the midst of the busi- 
ness environment as a commercial 
advertising photographer, Mark be- 
lieves many Mennonite businessmen 
and women are afraid to take an anti- 
military position for fear it will hurt 
their business. Some, in fact, go to 
considerable pain to rewrite the gospel 
or simply ignore it so as to alleviate 
their responsibilities regarding being 
their brothers and sisters' keepers. 

First, Mark raises a genuine concern 
about the mixing of conventional war- 
heads and nuclear warheads on the 
same warship and for the same plane. 
This not only enhances the chance of 
mistakenly sending a nuclear device 
but puts the enemy in a precarious 
position of not knowing which weapon 
has been fired in a conflict. The enemy 
may decide to retaliate with nuclear 
weapons on the assumption that the 
weapon fired by the United States has 
a nuclear warhead. While we Chris- 
tians would like to see no war planes 
and war ships at all— an improbability 
in the near future— we should at least 
promote those practices in the armed 
forces which reduce the possibility of 
starting a nuclear war. 

Considering the Mennonite reputa- 

tion of frugality and careful handling 
of money, "Mennonite Christians," 
says Mark, "ought to be leading the 
crowd demanding more efficient mili- 
tary spending." After all, every dollar 
spent on the military is a dollar taken 
from a taxpayer and cannot be used to 
improve the human condition in this 
country or elsewhere. Would demand- 
ing efficient military spending compro- 
mise our position too much? 

By now we have all heard of the 
$7,500 coffeemaker ordered by the air 
force. And there are other ways the 
U.S. military wastes money. (1) From a 
practical standpoint, we have enough 
nuclear weapons to kill everyone in 
the world several times. Why do we 
keep producing more? (2) Our new 
weapons are too complex, resulting in 
high cost, malfunctions and high 
maintenance. (3) Too much duplication 
exists among the military branches, 
much of it based on pride and jealousy. 
(4) The size of the Defense Department 
has grown from 69 personnel under 
Truman to 22,000 today. (5) Currently, 
management personnel in the Defense 
Department are promoted on the basis 
of the number of military contracts 
they push through. (The Defense De- 
partment signs 56,000 contracts a day.) 
This practice must stop. (6) Cost over- 
runs are expected by Pentagon staff. 

How can we, on practical grounds, 
support the satellite-operated "de- 
fense" system? Critics believe it will 
only accelerate the arms race, and 
most believe it is only a step away 
from a satellite "offense" system when 

Mother Teresa, founder of the 
Missionaries of Charity, urges 
us to "serve until it hurts. " 
Are we prepared to get 
involved until it hurts? 

we could all have weapons from our 
enemies stationed above us. Do you 
have to be a Christian to oppose this? 

Both sons believe we should combine 
forces with other groups who are striv- 
ing for more efficiency in the Pentagon 
and those who are taking other 
stances on military issues that would 
reduce the threat of war and the 
threat of a nuclear holocaust. We 
should be less concerned about why 
other groups are taking their posi- 
tions. We also need to remember that 
money is power in our society. We need 
money to influence Congress and other 
government officials. Does our money- 
use ethic make it easier to give to 
MCC than to lobbyists or to groups 
supporting disarmament or a reduc- 
tion in military spending? 

What would Christ have us do today? 
Have we isolated ourselves too much, 
as Mark and Kenton suggest? I have 
usually argued that Christianity is 
idealistic, not pragmatic. Should it be? 
Can it be both? 

Although we understand that God 
expects us to be his instruments on the 
earth, showing his love to all people, 
are we content to work at the one-to- 
one level but afraid to take on govern- 
ment policy? Should we be encourag- 
ing our people to enter politics and 
government employment where they 
might have more direct influence over 
domestic and foreign policy? These 
questions, I believe, need answers 
which will not dilute the gospel but 
will reinforce it and bring consistency 
to our witness. • 

The Mennonite (ISSN 0025-9330) seeks to witness, teach, motivate and build the Christian fellowship within the context of Christian love and freedom under the guidance of the 
Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. It is published semimonthly by the General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 671 14. Subscription rates: one year, 
$14.50 U.S., $16.50 Canada; two years, $26 U.S., $29 Canada; three years, $35 U.S., $39 Canada. Foreign subscriptions add 50 cents per year to U.S. rate. Second class postage 
paid at Newton, KS, and additional mailing offices. Printed in U.S.A. POSTMASTER: Send Form 3579 to The Mennonite, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 



Voices of faith from Mexico 

Myron D. Schrag 

From June 12-27, 1985, I traveled in 
Mexico, Nicaragua and El Salvador on 
a study tour under the auspices of the 
Center for Global Services and Educa- 
tion located at Augsburg College in 
Minneapolis. The trip was a profound 
spiritual experience for me, yet also a 
disturbing one. I experienced a variety 
of emotions in Central America, in- 
cluding anger and cynicism, but there 
were also times of hope, faith and in- 
spiration. The latter is what I want to 

Coetetelco is a rural village in south- 
ern Mexico. Ricardo is a "campesino" 
(farmer) working the fields around 
Coetetelco. Ricardo, a Christian, has 
been instrumental in organizing other 
farmers to improve their situation. His 
organization has worked to get permis- 
sion to dig irrigation wells and to get 
lower interest rates on bank loans. 

'The important thing is to help our 
brothers and sisters have a living 
faith. ' 

They also formed a group to study the 
Bible and to reflect on what it says to 
them as poor people. 

In the Bible they saw that Jesus and 
his disciples did much work in com- 
mon. They asked, "Who killed Jesus 
and why? It was not the poor." From 
the perspective of Ricardo, "Jesus 
didn't go around with the wealthy or 
with the authorities. He went among 
the simple people." 

The Bible study helped them to un- 
derstand that women especially have 
been oppressed in their culture. As a 
result the women of Coetetelco have 
organized for better health care and 
even organized a bank. In Coetetelco, 
because of Bible study, there is less 
"machismo" and more mutual respect 
between men and women. 

"We are brothers and sisters if we 
believe in one God," said Ricardo. 
"The important thing is to help our 
brothers and sisters have a living 
faith. Paul said we must be converted. 
To be converted also means to help our 
brothers and sisters. If some are suffer- 
ing from injustice, we must help our 
brothers and sisters who are being 
marginalized. To those who have au- 
thority, let them know there is an er- 

ror they are committing. Pray that 
those who don't accept the message of 
the Word of God will change. We all 
have to live as brothers and sisters." 

Cuernavaca, Mexico, is a city of 
about 500,000 people. Deep ravines cut 
through the city. Thousands of people 
live on the steep slopes of the ravines 
in crowded conditions. Most homes are 
little more than shanties patched to- 
gether with tin, wood or whatever is 

On a late Saturday afternoon we 
made our way down a steep ravine 
almost to the bottom, where we met 
with a dozen people in one of the 
homes. The group, known as a Base 
Christian Community, one of thou- 
sands of such groups throughout Cen- 
tral America, made up mostly of the 
poor, had come together for Bible 
study as they do every Saturday 

We were privileged to share in that 
afternoon's study of 2 Corinthians 
5:14-21, a passage dealing with the 
ministry of reconciliation. It was in- 
spiring to hear these mostly unedu- 
cated people grapple with the meaning 
of this passage from their "reality." 
Their insights seemed to me profound. 
Here are a few: 

Margarita: "To be reconciled to God 
means to be reconciled to each other. 
Many use the Word of God to exploit 
their brothers and sisters. We 
shouldn't do that." 

Jose: "If we are reconciled with our 
brothers and sisters, God is present. To 
do something against our brothers and 
sisters is to do something against 
God. . . . Our problems are problems of 
everyone. We carry the cross for 

Rafael: "For God old things have 
passed away. If anyone of us has done 
something wrong, that is no reason to 
say we can no longer serve God. We 
can leave the old behind us. We can 
build a new world if we work 

Angela: "We must feel love for all 
the rebellious, those who don't accept 
God. We who believe in God should be 
even closer to those who don't." 

Myron D. Schrag is pastor of Faith 
Mennonite Church, 2801 East 22nd 
St., Minneapolis, MN 55406. 


Rachel Hartman (age 11) 

"Oh!" say the people 
in Georgia with fright, 
"It's so cold, it got down 
in the 30s last night." 

"Ha!" all the people 
in Kentucky say 
"We're lucky to get it 
that warm in the day." 

"Your little winter is 
only a splinter 
compared to the cold of 
a Kentucky winter." 

"Haw-Haw," Minnesotans say 
with a jeer. 

"You think that's cold? 
Well, come on up here!" 

"Your little winter is 
only a splinter 
compared to the cold of 
a Minnesotan winter." 

All the Canadians 

say with a smile 

"You haven't been cold 

til you've been here a while." 

"Your little winter is 
only a splinter 
compared to the chilly 
Canadian winter." 

"Well," say the Eskimos 
from houses of snow, 
"It's warm up here, 
only 30° below." 

"Your little winter is 
only a splinter 
compared to the freezing 
Alaskan winter." 

Wherever you live 
New York or Denver, 
Miami or Juneau 
always remember: 

"Your little winter is 
only a splinter 
compared to the cold of 
a nuclear winter." 

30 JANUARY 28, 1986 


Look therefore carefully (Ephesians 6) 

Gertrude Roten 

The Christian's role in the fulfillment of the plan 

the unity 
of the 

up his 

the old 
pattern of life 

espousing the 
new pattern 
of life 

The new 
life in 
and light 

Family members 
must live 
together in 

Christians must 
be fully equipped 
for the spiritual 
warfare in which 
they are engaged 



61 7 

161 17 

241 25 

321 5:1 

201 5:21 

6:9 I 10 

20 I 21 24 

There is a surprising richness in the 
Ephesians 6:1-9 exhortation of children 
and parents, slaves and masters. 

Humans are time-binding beings, 
tied to the past, struggling through 
the present, confronted with the fu- 
ture. We are born of parents, we pro- 
duce children. 

Four motivations are listed for chil- 
dren. They are "being in the Lord," 
expectation of doing what is right, a 
commandment of God and a promise 
from God. Paul wants his readers to 
find a good way of living so children 
may achieve their desire— to grow up 
and live long. Paul directs children to 
conduct that endures. Parents wish to 
avoid angry scenes. Paul makes par- 
ents responsible for avoiding anger, 
preventing the growth of an angry 

We are material beings. We have a 
place in an economic framework in 
which we possess, produce and con- 
sume. Slaves are to consider them- 
selves Christ's slaves and work for 
him. Only when their work is done 
voluntarily and wholeheartedly can 
God's will be done. They are to avoid 
trickery in their fear of their masters. 
Enthusiasm for work substitutes for a 
desperate drudgery. The good you do is 
in the last resort no longer something 
you produce but a gift received from 
God. Paul foresees masters who treat 
their servants as equals rather than as 
underlings. Paul tells bosses, "Stop 
using threats. Be aware that in heaven 
the same Lord is ruling over them and 
over you. He fosters no favoritism." 

Christ is central in the discussion. 
Those of supposedly high or low estate 
are subordinated to the same highest 
authority. Therefore, before the Lord 
and before one another, parents and 
children, masters and slaves occupy 
the same position. All must obey. 

The Lord's coming figures into the 
discussion in regard to both reward 


and impartiality. The coming Lord 
alone decides on the right or wrong 
done by old and young, rich and poor. 

It may seem that the exhortation 
burdens the supposedly weaker mem- 
ber and supports the more powerful: 
three verses to children— one to fa- 
thers, four verses to slaves— one to 
masters. But children are reminded to 
have confidence in the promise which 
includes outliving their parents. Slaves 
are made aware that they work for the 
Lord. It is a revolutionary step for 
Paul thus to place major emphasis 
upon the weaker member. Wives, chil- 
dren and slaves are made as responsi- 
ble for a good social order as those who 
wield authority. The knowledge of the 
crucified Lord's authority gives Paul 
the courage to trust in the "power that 
is made perfect in weakness." As he 
works through these paradoxes, he has 
firm ground for his expectations. Jews 
and gentiles have become one people 
through the intervention of Christ. He 
is convinced that the groups enumer- 
ated in the Haustafeln can find peace 

Paul's final injunctions in Ephesians 
include strong urgings for children also to 
proceed carefully. 

when they subordinate themselves to 
one another because they fear Christ. 

In vv. 10-20 an armor tested by the 
author is presented to rich, poor, slave, 
priest, man, woman, youth, aged. "Put 
on the splendid armor of God." The 
battle is not against flesh and blood 
but against the wiles, best translated, 
"schemes of the devil." The enemy is a 
spiritual force, the days described as 

Every piece of the armor is in posi- 
tion. Truth covers the loins, righteous- 
ness serves as a breastplate, steadfast- 
ness characterizes the footing because 
the gospel of peace is strapped under 
the feet, faith is the shield. Here the 
function of the weapon is elaborated 
upon— to quench all the fiery missiles. 
No fire is returned. Salvation is the 
helmet, and the Word of God is a 

There is yet one more important 
matter: prayer. "In the Spirit pray at 
all times. . . ." Paul asks for prayer for 
himself. "Pray that the word may be 
given to me to open my lips and in 
high spirits to make the secret known 
by proclaiming the gospel. For this 
cause I am an ambassador in chains. 
Pray that I may become frank and 
bold in my proclamation. For this I 
must be." 

Lastly his thoughts go out to others. 
Tychicus is coming. He will tell you 

We close our walk with Paul's prayer. 
"Peace and love with faith and grace 
be with all who love Christ with an 
imperishable and incorruptible love." 
With his example, look therefore care- 
fully how you walk, not as unwise but 
as wise. Be filled with the Spirit." 
Last in a series of 10 

Gertrude Roten is assistant professor of 
Greek and New Testament at Associ- 
ated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, 
3003 Benham Ave., Elkhart, IN 4651 7. 

The vow of non-violence 

Richard McSorley 

On Aug. 6, 1985, in the Jesuit Commu- 
nity Chapel of Georgetown University, 
I took a vow of non-violence. The vow 
was received by G. Gordon Henderson 
as delegate for the rector of the com- 
munity, who was away at the time. I 
was responding to the call of Pax 
Christi, U.S.A., to encourage all to 
take a public vow of non-violence as a 
way of recalling and reinstating in 
Catholic life the tradition of the first 
three centuries of our faith— the tradi- 
tion of refusal to kill or be a part of 
the preparation to kill— in imitation of 

The hope of Pax Christi is that the 
vow will be repeated annually by a 
growing number on the anniversary of 
the bombing of Hiroshima. Pax Christi 
members were asked to urge their 
bishops to hold public ceremonies for 
the vow, preceded by a retreat or days 
of prayer. Those looking for a faith- 
based and positive complement to the 
anti-nuclear and disarmament protests 
held on that day could find it in this 
public ceremony. 

By doing this on the anniversary of 
the bombing of Hiroshima, the vow is 
linked to the nuclear threat. That 
threat helped me and many others see 
the need of the vow. The fact of Chris- 
tians killing each other in every war 
since the fourth century also helped 
me see the need of this vow. 

Pax Christi was started after World 
War I by a French and a German 
bishop who wondered what had hap- 
pened to the gospel during that war. 
The aim of Pax Christi is to bring the 
teaching of the gospel to life among 
Christians. This is more important 
than ever in the nuclear age. 

In my formulation of the vow I said, 
"I, before the cross of Jesus Christ, 
vow perpetual non-violence in fulfill- 
ment of the command of your Son, 
'Love your enemies.' " It seems to me 
beyond doubt that I cannot love a per- 
son in the same act in which I kill 
that person. The vow means I will not 
take part in killing anybody. That 
means I will not pay taxes for weapons 
of death and be a part of the prepara- 
tions to kill done by the military or 
the hangman or the abortionist. Nei- 
ther will I hold, as morally acceptable, 
the program of killing some to save 

The formulation of the vow offered in 
Pax Christi (June 1985) expresses 
other applications: "I vow to carry out 
in my life the love and example of 
Jesus (1) by striving for peace within 
myself and seeking to be a peacema- 
ker in my daily life, (2) by accepting 
suffering rather than inflicting it, (3) 
by refusing to retaliate in the face of 
provocation and violence, (4) by perse- 
vering in non-violence of tongue and 
heart, (5) by living conscientiously and 
simply so that I do not deprive others 

You get a phone call. "It's Ed, from 
Mediation Services." 

You remember Ed. You mediated 
with him one bitter, cold January 
night. The case we were to mediate 
that night involved two old friends 
who had had a falling out to the point 
where one had pressed assault charges 
against the other. The complainant 
arrived on time but not the defendant. 
When you couldn't contact the latter 
by phone, the complainant offered to 
lead you to him. You agreed and were 
soon lost in a maze of apartments 
along Grant Avenue as this fellow led 
you from one apartment to another. 
You actually found the defendant, who 
informed you he wasn't available for 
mediation on that night, thank you 
very much, but did agree to meet with 
the complainant on another night. 

"Hi, Ed. How are you?" 

"Fine, thanks. How are you, Paul? 
Say, Paul, how would you like to medi- 
ate tomorrow night?" 

"I think I'm free, Ed. What's up?" 

This time it's a traffic case. One 
motorist felt he'd been cut off by an- 
other, pulled him over to the side of 
the road, opened his car door, gave him 
a thorough shaking and slugged him. 
Charges were laid. Now both parties 
have agreed to come to mediation 

Somehow, before you arrive, you al- 
ways conjure up images of these people 
on the basis of those brief descriptions 
of what has transpired. They must be 
rather large and of a violent disposi- 

of the means to live, (6) by actively 
resisting evil and working non-vio- 
lently to abolish war and the causes of 
war from my own heart and from the 
face of the earth." 

It seems obvious that if many people 
took this vow and lived it out, the 
world would be better and peace would 
have a chance. 

Richard McSorley is with the Center 
for Peace Studies at Georgetown Uni- 
versity, Washington, DC 20057. 

tion, scared perhaps. But they never 
quite live up to your expectations. In 
fact, they tend to be all too human. 
Perhaps it's the setting. A quiet room 
with comfortable chairs, a tasteful 
hanging on one wall and bookshelves 
along two others. Coffee is brewing in 
a pot in the corner. 

For whatever reason, the people to be 
mediated are quiet when they first 
come in. You and your fellow mediator 
introduce yourselves (mediators always 
work in pairs). You get the people to 
make themselves comfortable, find a 
place to sit. You offer them coffee, 
make small talk for a few minutes, 
then begin. 

You explain the basic rules of media- 
tion: (1) The mediators are there not to 
pass judgment, not to decide who is 
right or wrong, not to reach an agree- 
ment for them, but to help them reach 
an agreement. And we will remain 
neutral in the process. (2) Whatever is 
said in a mediation session is com- 
pletely confidential. We will be taking 
notes during the meeting, but these 
will be destroyed as soon as it is over. 

You go on to explain the procedure 
that will be followed. Each party will 
have the chance to tell his or her side 
of the story without interruption by 
the other. We will go on from there to 
try to identify the most important 
issues, then work toward some kind of 

You get someone to start. Then, after 
a moment's hesitation, the stories 
usually come bursting forth. The one 

Diary of a volunteer mediator 

Paul Redekop 

32 JANUARY 28, 1986 


Mediation (caring) in the name of Christ helps us to get other people into focus. When 
mistrust or conflict is allowed to grow, people become a blur or a target. 

who has started blurts out one story. 
There is anger, righteousness, out- 
rage— defensiveness. When the stories 
have been told, the mediators ask the 
complainant and the perpetrator to go 
over what seem to be the most salient 
points. Once the key issues have been 
identified, the down-to-earth bargain- 
ing takes place until an agreement is 

All this, of course, is easier said than 
done. However, mediation services has 
a remarkable success rate. During one 
recent three-month period, agreements 
were achieved in 90 percent of the 
cases mediated. 

The real work is done by the regular 
staff. They must obtain referrals from 
the police, the courts and various other 
sources. Then the people involved 
must be contacted and a meeting ar- 
ranged. Making these arrangements 
may take many phone calls, much 
explaining, cajoling, encouraging and 
so on. 

The volunteers come in once all this 
work and preparation has been done 
and get the job of seeing the case 

A successful conclusion is an agree- 
ment that leaves both complainants 
and perpetrators better off than they 
were when they arrived and, more 
often than not, with a much better 
feeling toward one another than they 
came in with. 

There is great need for mediation 
services in modern urban society. In 
smaller communities, the towns and 
villages from which we've all come 
more or less recently, members of the 
community would resolve their differ- 
ences in a similar way. Often there 
would be a village elder to whom other 
members of the community could go 
for help with their disputes. Some- 
times a neighbor would help out. If 
there was a police force in the commu- 
nity, its officers were usually members 
of the community themselves. If a 
crime was committed, they would 
know those involved and would often 
act to achieve some kind of reconcilia- 
tion rather than having to press for- 
mal charges. 

In the modern urban environment, 
law enforcement has for the most part 
become highly impersonal. The police 
officers must "go by the book" as they 
arrest perpetrators who are strangers 
to them and proceed to have charges 
laid. Both complainants and defend- 
ants find themselves in court, which 
operates on the basis of an adversarial 

model. If the defendant is found guilty, 
he or she will be fined or sent to 
prison. The complainant may get some 
small satisfaction from "seeing justice 
done," if by justice we mean only pun- 
ishment. But the net result is a fur- 
ther rending in the fabric of the com- 
munity. It is certainly not a healing. 

Mediation provides an alternative to 
this harsh and impersonal system. It 
offers people who find themselves in 
conflict with one another the chance to 
genuinely resolve their conflict and 

gain a better understanding and re- 
spect for the person with whom they 
were in conflict. If a mediation is suc- 
cessful, a contribution has been made 
toward the equilibrium of the commu- 
nity which, as has been amply demon- 
strated, is never achieved through the 
imposition of fines or prison terms. 

Paul Redekop is one of the volunteers 
who work with Mediation Services, 
202-818 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB 
R3G 0N4. 


The Hymn Society of America has 

announced a search for new hymn 
texts related to the Advent season. 
This search aims at providing new 
hymns in contemporary, inclusive lan- 
guage based on Scripture from the 
three-year lectionary. Entries should 
be in four non-returnable copies and 
include a $5 entry fee for each hymn. 
Deadline for entries is May 1. Winning 
hymns will be announced in October 
and will be published by The Hymn 
Society of America, National Head- 
quarters, Box 30854, Texas Christian 
University, Fort Worth, TX 76129. 

Mennonite Central Committee Can- 
ada and MCC British Columbia have 
urged the British Columbia govern- 
ment to deal honorably with the Haida 
Indians in their current conflict over 
rights on Lyell Island. Nine Haida 
band members were recently given 
suspended sentences for blockading a 
roadway and thereby defying a court 
order giving two logging companies 
the right to chop trees on this rug- 
gedly beautiful West Coast island. The 
Haidas have always claimed Lyell as 
part of their ancestral heritage. De- 
spite a 1972 federal decision, the 
provincial government refuses to recog- 
nize aboriginal land rights. 


CIM faces communications questions 

Mission leaders discuss international mutuality 

Techny, 111. (Meetinghouse)— The chal- 
lenges of establishing mutual relations 
in an international church occupied 
administrators of some 15 North 
American Mennonite and Brethren in 
Christ mission and service agencies in 
Dec. 2-4, 1985, meetings of the Council 
of International Ministries. 

Mission workers often have the 
chance to be outside "brokers" in con- 
flict situations, suggested anthropolo- 
gist Jacob Loewen. He shared case 
studies from his experience in cross- 
cultural ministries over the past 40 
years. He challenged the group to be 
sensitive to local cultural forms of 
reconciliation, which he claimed are 
often more moral than Western tech- 
niques of mediation. Loewen further 
suggested that there are limits to ad- 
ministrators doubling as brokers in 
conflict, because they are often part of 
the conflict. 

Mennonite World Conference re- 
ported on efforts to strengthen interna- 
tional communications through a 
network of correspondents to a new 
quarterly publication. The MWC ini- 
tiative drew the support of news ser- 
vice people and several editors at the 
meeting. They drafted a proposal call- 
ing for the formation of traveling 
"communication teams." These teams, 
made up of North American journal- 
ists and communicators in other cul- 
tures, would try to link the church 
across cultures and to encourage indig- 
enous forms of communication. The 
proposal further called for more inde- 
pendent reporting on the work of 
North American church agencies and 

for more international news in the 
North American Mennonite press. 

Churches want to relate more di- 
rectly rather than through mission 
agencies, reported a number of partici- 
pants. The CIM sessions were dotted 
with reports of consultations in vari- 
ous continents: for example, a late 
January consultation of theologians on 
the Radical Reformation in Prague, a 
May meeting of the Asia Mennonite 
Conference and an upcoming Central 
American mission consultation. 

One specific concern for Latin Amer- 
icans is the need for more Spanish 
literature. They are starting to talk 
about establishing a "publishing cor- 
poration." So far Spanish publishing 
projects have been centered in the 
United States. CIM directed a portion 
of its $26,000 support for Spanish chil- 
dren's Anabaptist curriculum to fur- 
ther development of the publishing 
corporation idea. 

Teacher needed in Taiwan 

The Commission on Overseas Mission of the 

General Conference Mennonite Church is 
looking for a grade-school teacher to teach 
missionary children in Hwalien, Taiwan. A 
voluntary service term of two to three years 
including language study, beginning in August, 
is recommended. 

Please contact: 

Personnel Office 

Commission on Overseas Mission 
Box 347 

Newton, KS 67114 
(316) 283-5100. 

In further business, CIM 

• supported the idea of a Mennonite 
staff appointment to the Centre for 
New Religious Movements at Selly 
Oak Colleges in Birmingham, En- 
gland. This program will not be di- 
rectly administered by CIM. Like the 
China Educational Exchange program, 
however, the Selly Oak appointment is 
an example of spin-off programs that 
involve clusters of CIM members. 

• supplemented its own self-insur- 
ance program, the "major medical 
pool," with a commercial policy to 
handle large claims. The new $50,000 
deductible policy allows for coverage 
up to $350,000, with a total maximum 
of $1 million for one person with three 
separate incidents. 

• appointed Gerald Shenk, Jim Der- 
stine and Ike Bergen to the Urbana 
'87 committee, which will plan Menno- 
nite participation at this biennial stu- 
dent mission event. Ron Rempel 

Summer service opportunities 

The Commission on Overseas Mission of the 

General Conference Mennonite Church is 
accepting applications from young people 
interested in the overseas summer missions 
program. Volunteers are responsible to obtain 
their own financial support. COM will make all 
other arrangements. 

For further information, contact: 
Personnel Office 

Commission on Overseas Mission 
Box 347 

Newton, KS 67114 
(316) 283-5100. 

34 JANUARY 28, 1986 

About 100 church leaders from Aus- 
tralia, the United States, Canada and 
several European countries met at 
Harare, South Africa, Dec. 4-6, 1985, 
to express concern about the situation 
in South Africa and support their col- 
leagues there. World Council of 
Churches General Secretary Emilio 
Castro, who called the meeting, said, 
'Apartheid goes against the texture of 
the spiritual reality of the universe. 
That's why it can't prevail." 

At right, Bishop Desmond Tutu joins other 
leaders at Harare in prayer. 

A new study says Mexican immi- 
grants to the United States, both legal 
and illegal, contribute more to the 
economy than they take out through 
public assistance. The Rand Corpora- 
tion document said fewer than 5 per- 
cent of all Mexican immigrants are on 
welfare, though there is a pressing 
need for improved educational opportu- 
nities for all Latinos. 

Mission leaders look at ' re-evangelization' of Europe 

Techny, 111. (Meetinghouse)— This may 
be a "special moment" for Europe, 
concluded Mennonite and Brethren in 
Christ mission administrators after a 
two-day consultation here Dec. 2-3, 
1985, preceding the fall meeting of the 
Council of International Ministries. 
Discussion focused on evangelism in a 
secular, "post-Christian" Europe. 

The consultation, called by CIM's 
Europe area committee (formerly 
called the East- West task force), in- 
cluded representatives from six North 
American and two European groups. 
Volker Horsch represented the Interna- 
tional Mennonite Organization and 
Raymond Eyer the European Menno- 
nite Evangelization Committee. 

The consultation included two major 
presentations analyzing European 
culture. Roelf Kuitse, professor of mis- 
sions at Associated Mennonite Biblical 
Seminaries, Elkhart, Ind., traced the 
growth of secularism. Paul Peachey, a 
sociologist from Washington, suggested 
that the secular and the sacred are not 

necessarily opposites but two related 
impulses in modern society. Secular 
impulses, for example, free individuals 
to be agents of change in society; the 
sacred impulses work for integration. 

"The sectarian tradition," suggested 
Peachey, "sets us up to be privatistic 
and to let God take care of society. . . . 
How will the sacred become again a 
community-forming impulse?" 

The wide-ranging discussions kept 
coming back to the question What 
should the church be doing in Europe? 
Starting new churches? Working in 
existing churches and educational 
institutions? Being "present" in re- 
newal movements, such as the peace 
movement, charismatic groups in state 
churches or regional councils of 
churches (a kind of "local ecumenic- 

Volker Horsch stressed the need for 
more awareness of and contact with 
European Mennonites. He acknowl- 
edged that many European Menno- 
nites do not have a missionary vision. 

"It's a rather ethnic thing," he com- 
mented. "But I observe a similar eth- 
nicity here [in North America]." 

Raymond Eyer said that European 
churches continue to look to North 
America for clarity on the Anabaptist 
vision. Northern Europeans and 
Dutch, he suggested, are influenced by 
rationalism and therefore are no 
longer Anabaptist. The south Europe- 
ans are influenced by pietism and are 
also no longer Anabaptist. He observed 
a similar split in North America. 

In reviewing European-based pro- 
grams, the administrators were embar- 
rassed to discover a number of unre- 
lated mission initiatives in Portugal. 
"Are we trying to enlarge our empire 
or to give a witness?" asked several 
participants. A "Portugual" lunch was 
convened in order to talk about the 
possibilities of a unified Mennonite 

The discussions on evangelism in 
Europe will continue at this May's 
meetings of CIM. Ron Rempel 

Mission support lagging, according to survey 

Techny, 111. (Meetinghouse)— The con- 
tribution graph slopes up, however 
slightly; the personnel graph slopes 

This was the general picture that 
emerged from a recent survey of North 
American Mennonite and Brethren in 
Christ mission and service agencies 
that cooperate through the Council of 
International Ministries. The survey 
was compiled by Wilbert R. Shenk, 
secretary of CIM since 1973 and vice 
president of Mennonite Board of Mis- 
sions (Mennonite Church) overseas 
ministries division. He reported his 
findings to the Dec. 2-4, 1985, CIM 
meetings held here. 

With figures supplied by partner 

agencies, Shenk traced both contribu- 
tion and personnel patterns over the 
past 19 years. During this period, the 
combined receipts increased from $5.2 
million in 1966 to $26.7 million in 
1985— an average of 22 percent per 
year. When these figures were trans- 
lated into "1967 constant dollars," 
however, the increase amounted to 
only 3.5 percent per year. 

By contrast, the total number of 
people serving in these programs is 
slowly declining. In 1966 the total was 
1,462; now it is 1,318. 

Within the general picture there was 
considerable variation between agen- 
cies. Five had less income (measured 
by the 1967 constant dollar) in 1966 

than in 1985. Mennonite Board of 
Missions (Mennonite Church), for ex- 
ample, reported an overall 28 percent 
drop in income. The General Confer- 
ence's Commission on Overseas Mis- 
sion income dropped 1.5 percent. 

Eight showed increases (in 1967 con- 
stant dollars). Mennonite Central Com- 
mittee reported the largest increase 
over 19 years— about 292 percent. 

All but three of the agencies have 
fewer people in service now than in 
1966. The Evangelical Mennonite 
Church (Canada) Board of Missions 
reported the largest increase— from 42 
people in 1966 to 100 now. Most of this 
increase has come since 1979. Ron 


Amsterdam 86, the second Interna- 
tional Conference for Itinerant Evan- 
gelists, is scheduled for July 12-21. 
Sponsored by the Billy Graham Evan- 
gelistic Association, the conference is 
planned to bring together more than 
8,000 itinerant evangelists, most of 
them from developing countries. Be- 
cause space and funds are limited, 
prospective invitees must undergo a 
complex selection process. More than 
41,000 applications have been sent 

The Bluffton (Ohio) College board of 
trustees approved an all-denomination 
church-college matching scholarship 
fund program, along with seven new 
named scholarships at its fall meeting 
Nov. 23, 1985. The college will now 
match up to $500 per academic year in 
funds provided by any congregation 
that has student members attending 
the college, regardless of financial 
need. With the addition of six new 
scholarships the college now has 44 
such endowed scholarships available to 
qualifying students, in addition to its 
regular scholarship program. 

West Abbotsford Mennonite 
Church, Abbotsford, B.C., held a Jubi- 
lee celebration on Nov. 24, 1985. Two 
boys, Trevor Ens and Leonard Krahn, 
unrolled a scroll. Then Wes Dyck blew 
a ram's horn. Alvin Ens read Leviticus 
25:8-13 and asked the members of the 
church to celebrate the Year of Jubilee. 
Paul Boschman, pastor, spoke on "Ju- 
bilee—a Time for Renewal." He said 
that the Hebrew word "yobel" means 
"freedom-salvation" and challenged 
the church to let Scripture speak in a 
new way in the coming year. West 
Abbotsford Church was born Nov. 15, 
1936, and the church plans to cele- 
brate 50 years July 11-13. 

Linscheid named communications director, begins July 1 

Newton, Kan. 
(GCMC)-David A. 
Linscheid, 32, has 
accepted an ap- 
pointment to be- 
come communica- 
tions director for 
the General Con- 
ference Mennonite 
Church. He suc- 
ceeds Larry A. 
Cornies and will 
begin his new task on July 1. 

Coming from Bethel College, North 
Newton, Kan., where he was director 
of admissions, Linscheid will oversee 
conference publications, public rela- 
tions and congregational contacts. He 
is a 1975 graduate of Bethel College in 
psychology and drama and studied 

German in Vienna. After college he 
worked at Prairie View Mental Health 
Center and for Jim Stucky Photo- 
graphics, both in Newton. 

"I am comfortable saying that I feel 
called to this job," says Linscheid. 
"The church has played a positive role 
in my background. It excites me to 
carry that on. My time overseas 
brought a new appreciation for my 
spiritual roots." 

Linscheid has participated in local 
church activities (in Goessel, Kan.), in 
the Western District Conference, at 
triennial conference sessions at Estes 
Park in 1980 and as a member of a 
"drama pilgrimage" troupe for Menno- 
nite Voluntary Service. 

A member of Bethel College Menno- 
nite Church, he is married to Cynthia 

New! Guaranteed rate of 
return on MMA's IRA*. 

Returns on each deposit guaranteed for one year. After that, 
rates set each quarter, based on how investments perform. 

A guaranteed rate of return. If you're under age 70 and 
earning an income, a way to plan now for retirement needs. 
A way to practice stewardship and share with others, too. 

It's all part of MMA's new 
IRA. To find out more, 
call 800-348-7468, toll 
free. If you're in Indiana, 
call (219)533-9511 collect. 

* Individual Retirement Annuity 

Mutual Aid 

Lehman Linscheid, and they are par- 
ents of two young sons, Aaron and 

MCC BC executive director 

Applications are invited for the position of 
executive director for MCC BC. 

—Position opens early 1986, appointment 
time flexible 

—Salary commensurate with MCC policy 

—a scriptural understanding that combines a 

word-and-deed expression; 
— proven administrative experience, with a 

service record desirable; 
—apt communication skills. 

Apply by Feb. 28 to: 
Personnel Committee, MCC BC 
Box 2038 

Clearbrook, BC V2T 3T8 
(604) 859-4141. 

Part-time pastor needed 

Philippi Mennonite Church, a small 
ministry-oriented fellowship in rural West 
Virginia, seeks a part-time pastor, effective 

Duties include sharing spiritual leadership, 
representing the church to the community, and 

Qualifications: seminary training preferred; 
biblical studies background acceptable. 
Housing and a small stipend provided; 
supplemental income will be necessary. 

For further information contact: 
Lois Harder 

Work: (304) 457-1 700, ext. 240 
Home: (304) 457-2506 

Elvin Kreider 

Work: (304) 457-2800 

Home: (304) 457-2987. 

36 JANUARY 28, 1986 

When one small Mennonite church 
in Japan took up a Christmas offering 
in 1984 for evangelism in Africa it 
created unusual interest. "We see so 
much on television of the starving 
millions in Africa," said Junji Sasaki, 
pastor of the Oita Mennonite Church, 
"but when we discussed what to do 
with our offering, someone suggested, 
'People need food for the stomach, and 
many people are helping the famine. 
But what about food for their eternal 
souls?' " One of the church's members, 
Richard Derksen, and his wife, Mari- 
lyn, are General Conference mission- 
aries in Zaire. 

The chance for dialogue with lead- 
ers of other major Christian denomina- 
tions drew some 35 people, including 
Mennonite World Conference executive 
secretary Paul Kraybill, to Windsor 
Castle in England in November 1985 
for three days of meetings. The annual 
Secretaries of Christian World Commu- 
nions sessions bring together repre- 
sentatives from such bodies as the 
Baptist World Alliance, World Alliance 
of Reformed Churches, World Evangeli- 
cal Fellowship, Lutheran World Feder- 
ation and others. 

The Evangelical Mennonite Church 

of Colombia brought together three 
other groups Nov. 18-20, 1985, for the 
first National Seminar on Anabap- 
tism. Joining their hosts for study and 
reflection were the Brethren in Christ, 
Church of the Brethren and Mennonite 
Brethren. Emphasis was on their com- 
mon background stemming from the 
Radical Reformation of the 16th cen- 
tury, and the stated purpose was to 
foster unity among the four groups. 

Colombian Christians recall disaster relief experience 

Cachipay, Colombia (GCMC)-When 
Volcano Ruiz erupted on Nov. 13, 1985, 
taking 25,000 lives and destroying the 
city of Armero, the people of Popayan, 
another Colombian city, remembered. 
Their town was devastated by an 
earthquake during Easter week 1983. 
It was then that a local church leader 
in Popayan, confronted with an offer of 
a "door-to-door" evangelistic campaign, 
responded with, "But that is not what 
Popayan needs right now. What the 
city needs is what the Mennonites are 
doing. We need sympathy and works of 
charity, love that manifests itself in 

Disaster service was hard for some of 
the local people to understand. Surely 
God wanted them to evangelize and 
make their church grow. In the after- 
math of the earthquake tragedy the 
conservative Catholic community was 
suddenly more open to talking about 
spiritual things. Church growth had 
always been difficult in the tradition- 
bound community of Popayan. It 
seemed important to seize the opportu- 
nity and preach the gospel at this time 
of openness rather than take up a 
shovel and help clean up the rubble. 

Into this setting, in 1983, the first 
group of Mennonite volunteers arrived 
from various Colombian Mennonite 
churches to demonstrate love and faith 
in action. In all, four groups of volun- 
teers made the long trip to the disas- 
ter area to help needy families get 
their lives together again by disposing 
of rubble, cleaning salvageable bricks 
and rebuilding homes. It was the first 
Mennonite Disaster Service experi- 
ment in Colombia— a new witness of 
Christian discipleship to the evangeli- 
cal and Catholic communities. 

Two years later many groups re- 
sponded to the pleas for help after 
Volcano Ruiz erupted. Of the local 
groups, the best-equipped disaster 

A woman and two children weep at the 
Colombian town of Armero Nov. 16, 1985, 
as efforts to find survivors of the mud slide 

workers were from Popayan. It took 
them a whole day to arrive at the 
scene of the disaster, but once they 
were there they were prepared to pitch 
in and help wherever needed. Their 
primary purpose was net to evangelize 

Research interns needed 

Three positions assisting FCNL's lobbyists with 
legislative work. These are 11 -month paid 
assignments beginning Sept. 1, 1986. Duties 
include research, writing, monitoring issues, 
attending hearings and coalition meetings, 
maintaining clipping and issue files. Applica- 
tions close March 15. 

For information write or call: 
Friends Committee on National Legislation 
245 Second St. NE 
Washington, DC 20002 
(202) 547-6000. 

but to serve. Their Christian witness, 
however, spoke powerfully to many 

I was in that first Mennonite group 
that served in Popayan 2Vz years ago. 
Last week in Armero and in the refu- 
gee camps I personally witnessed the 
service given by the Popayan Chris- 
tians who had been moved to help 
others by the help they had received 
from us. The spirit of service as taught 
by Jesus in Matthew 25:40 had come 
full circle. George Ediger 

George R. Ediger is a businessman 
from Inman, Kan., and a former mis- 
sionary to Colombia under the General 
Conference. He is in Colombia for three 
months to direct volcano relief at the 
invitation of the Mennonite churches. 

Administrator wanted 

The board of directors of Herbert Nursing 
Home Inc., owned and operated by the 
Conference of Mennonites of Saskatchewan, 
are seeking an administrator for this 54-bed, 
level 1 1 1 facility. Duties to commence 
tentatively April 1 . 

Applicant must be mature Christian whose faith 
would be in harmony with those of the owning 

Experience in long-term care would be an 
asset, preferably with some training in the field. 
The applicant should have an understanding of 
accounting principles and the budgetary 
process. Ability to communicate in both English 
and German is desirable. Starting salary is 

Deadline for applications is Feb. 20. Direct 
inquiries to (306) 784-2661 . Applications with 
full resume should be submitted to: 

Albert Jahnke, chairman 

Herbert Nursing Home 

Box 520 

Herbert, SK S0H 2A0. 


The General Conference will use a 
$24,000 fraternal grant from Menno- 
nite Mutual Aid, Goshen, Ind., to help 
fund Mennonite Encyclopedia Volume 
V and a communications director for 
the denomination. Four other projects 
will share the grant: the church's 
125th anniversary observance, a con- 
ference minister shared by the Central 
District and Illinois Conference, lead- 
ership development in Paraguay and 
evangelism training for Hispanic 

With Camp Squeah as a setting, 
about 85 women participated in the 
British Columbia Women in Mission 
retreat Oct. 4-6, 1985. Guest speaker 
Stephanie Fast of White Rock, B.C., 
used her own story, beginning with 
being an unwanted, abused, Korean- 
American street orphan, to develop the 
theme "Created for Destiny" and to 
emphasize each individual's self-worth. 
About 58 women attended a second 
retreat at Camp Squeah Oct. 18-20, 
1985. Diane Moe of Langley, B.C., 
spoke on "Speaking Positively." 

"We wish all the ministers of our 

denomination could take the work- 
shop." "Can you do another for our 
church on the national level?" These 
and similar expressions were voiced by 
the 31 pastors who had been part of 
the broadcasting workshops conducted 
recently by Henry Unrau, Mennonite 
Ministries worker in Botswana. Un- 
rau, coordinator of religious program- 
ming for Radio Botswana, held two 
workshops in Gaborone and one in 
Francistown. Sponsored by the General 
Conference Commission on Overseas 
Mission, the Unraus have been in Bo- 
tswana since 1978 under the auspices 
of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission. 

Housing project begins in Chile in response to earthquake 

Chilean workers put up walls on house being rebuilt as part of MCC's housing construction 
program in Santa Clara. Hundreds of residents in this slum near Santiago were left 
without housing after the May 1985 earthquake hit Chile. 

Santiago, Chile (MCC)-"We are help- 
ing people who have been not only 
victims of the earthquake but in a 
greater sense have been victims of 
their lot in life," write Charles and 
Linda Geiser, Mennonite Central Com- 
mittee workers in Chile who are head- 
ing up a housing construction program 
in Santa Clara. 

Santa Clara is a community located 
about an hour and a half from Santi- 
ago, where thousands of poor people 
live in dilapidated houses. Most labor- 
ers in Santa Clara earn between $1 
and $2 a day for farm work. 

When the earthquake hit early in 
1985, many of their houses were dam- 
aged and destroyed, making an al- 
ready serious housing shortage even 
more of a hardship for these slum 

The Geisers, who are from Apple 
Creek, Ohio, moved into the first 
house built with MCC and Mennonite 
Board of Missions housing construction 
funds in late October 1985. Since then 
several crews of six to 12 local resi- 
dents have been hard at work building 
houses for their families and neighbors 
in Santa Clara. The Geisers say that 
most of the work is done in the eve- 
nings and on weekends, since many 
residents work on nearby large farms. 

Plans call for the building of 65 new 
houses and repairs on at least 12 more 
houses in the neighborhood. MCC is 
purchasing a small plot of land for 
several families who are now camping 
out on the community square. 

At the first meeting of about 70 resi- 
dents, the Geisers divided workers into 
groups responsible for work on houses 
in their section of the neighborhood. A 
housing committee was formed of rep- 
resentatives from each group. Each 
family who was slated to receive a 
house signed a contract in which they 
pledged to pay 1,000 Chilean pesos 

(about $5 U.S.) a month toward the 
costs of materials. Money collected in 
this way will be used to build a com- 
munity center and other community 

The Geisers report that they have 
been asked to work through some of 
the tougher cases involving helping 
groups decide how much work families 
receiving the houses need to do, what 
kind of houses should be built or re- 
pairs done, and whether some people 
qualify for new houses or repairs. But 
the building committee has handled 
most of these decisions without the 
Geisers' help. 

The groups then met to decide on 
work plans and which houses would be 
built first. The Geisers explain, "Those 
who had greatest need were put at the 
top of the list and the rest decided by 

lottery." The Geisers then met with 
each of the groups to present building 
plans for the new houses. 

The Geisers met several times with 
local city officials to get approval for 
the building. They write, "One official 
wanted to know what we were doing in 
the community, what our role was and 
if we were organizing the people." 

MCC is providing $66,500 for the 
Santa Clara building project in 1986. 
MCC and MBM are looking for one 
other neighborhood in which to begin 
a housing construction project in early 
1986. In the weeks immediately after 
the May earthquake MCC and MBM 
provided emergency assistance, includ- 
ing pastoral services and financial 
assistance to cottage industries and 
small businesses to help them get back 
on their feet. 

38 JANUARY 28, 1986 

Christopher E. Moser, a 1985 gradu- 
ate of Bluffton (Ohio) College, received 
the Youth Recognition Award for Peace 
Dec. 4, 1985. The award was presented 
by Governor Richard Celeste as part of 
Ohio's celebration of the United Na- 
tion's International Youth Year. The 
youth year was proclaimed as a time 
to focus on and highlight the contribu- 
tions of young people, ages 15-24, and 
included the themes of participation, 
development and peace. Moser was 
nominated by First Mennonite Church, 
Bluffton, in the peace category. He is 
serving a three-year Mennonite Cen- 
tral Committee assignment at a refu- 
gee camp in Honduras. 

Jon M. Harshbarger, a 24-year-old 
Church of the Brethren member from 
North Manchester, Ind., was convicted 
Nov. 15, 1985, in Fort Wayne, Ind., for 
refusing to register for the draft. 
Harshbarger was sentenced to two 
years probation at the Washington 
(D.C.) City Church of the Brethren's 
nutrition program for street people. He 
was fined $1,500 plus court costs. 
Harshbarger, who first refused to reg- 
ister in 1980, said, "Selective Service 
registration, to me, is a military pro- 
gram. As a Christian ... I can't par- 
ticipate in it." 

Thirty-seven first-year students have 
begun studies at ISTK, the Institute 
for Higher Theological Education in 
Kinshasa, Zaire. The school is a joint 
effort of a half dozen denominations, 
including the Mennonite Community 
of Zaire (CMZ) and the Zaire Menno- 
nite Brethren. Peter Falk of the Com- 
mission on Overseas Mission serves as 

'Wonder bean' promoted by MCC agriculturists in Zambia 

Mkushi, Zambia (MCC)- When David 
and Barbara Wynne moved to the 
Mkushi District in Zambia in 1982, 
only five village families grew soy- 
beans. But three years later 1,855 
families grew soybeans, and 80 percent 
of the families surveyed by Dave said 
they used soybeans in their diet. 

The Wynnes say this increase is 
surprising, since eating patterns 
change slowly, and many Zambians 
complain that the soybean does not 
taste good. 

The Wynnes of Lexington, Ky, are 
Mennonite Central Committee agricul- 
turists working with the Zambian 
Ministry of Agriculture to promote 
soybean cultivation and use in the 
Mkushi District. The project is jointly 
funded by the United Nations Food 
and Agriculture Organization, MCC 
and the Zambian Ministry of Agricul- 

The Wynnes do much of their soy- 
bean promotion at village meetings. 
David teaches how to grow soybeans, 
and Barbara demonstrates recipes 
such as soy milk and soy coffee, em- 
phasizing the nutritional benefits of 
eating soybeans. "You can't divorce 
utilization and production," says 

They invite women and men to the 
meeting. Women do the planting and 
most of the weeding and harvesting 
and therefore need to learn about soy- 
bean production. In the same manner, 
although women are responsible for 
cooking, men often have the final word 
on what is eaten. 

The Wynnes adapt their recipes to fit 
traditional dishes to encourage accept- 
ance by villagers. Sometimes the adap- 
tion may simply be changing the name 
of the food. "To come to the village 
level, you may have to call soy milk 
'soy mkoyo,' " explains David. The 
Bemba people do not keep cattle or 

Hilda Sinbkomba, Zambian Home 

Economics officer for Mkushi District, 
works with David Wynne at a soybean 
nutrition booth promoting the use and 
production of soybeans among villagers at 
the Chicupili Agricultural Fair. 

drink milk, but they do drink a millet 
beverage flavored with a root called 

The villagers like the recipes. One 
villager, Stephen Mwape, put it sim- 
ply: "I eat soybeans because they're 

"I was taught recipes by a friend 
after I had been served a delicious cup 
of coffee," says F. N. Phiri who now 
makes soy milk and soy coffee regu- 
larly. Phiri saved 50 pounds of beans 
for consumption from last year's har- 
vest. Some families save over 100 
pounds for home consumption. 

The Wynnes say that villagers serve 
them soy coffee— roasted ground soy- 
beans boiled in water— more than any 
other beverage. A corn bread recipe, 
using soy milk, is also popular. Some 
women even bake the bread for sale. 

Villagers have become more aware of 
nutrition through Barbara's presenta- 
tions. Most families who eat soybeans 
see an improvement in their family's 
health, especially among the young 
children. Phiri says, "My children 
have become more round and healthy." 

Soybeans increase the farming fami- 

ly's income. For some, soybeans pro- 
duce more income than the traditional 
major cash crop, corn. Christ Mbulo, a 
Mkushi agriculturist, said that some 
people "just grow corn for home con- 
sumption. They have switched to soy- 
beans [as a cash crop] because they are 
less work." 

The village farmers in Mkushi have 
done so well that the national seed 
company, Zamseed, has commissioned 
them to produce seed for them in 1986. 
David and government-sponsored agri- 
cultural extensionists will monitor 
those selected for seed production. 

Another reason for growing the 
"wonder bean," as David calls it, is its 
long-term effect on soil fertility. Tradi- 
tional corn crops are hard on the soil. 
"Corn grown year after year depletes 
the soil to the point that the soil no 
longer produces crops," says David. 
"We think it is important that the 
small-scale farmers are introduced to 
soybeans as a crop to rotate with corn. 
Rotation is traditional, and we have 
found soybeans fit this rotation system 
better than any other leguminous crop, 
such as peanuts and sugar beans." 

In addition to his work with soybean 
extension, David produced the first 
soybean cookbook for Zambia. He also 
teaches vegetable gardening, and pro- 
motes a reflector oven which conserves 
precious wood fuel. In addition to nu- 
trition and cooking work, Barbara has 
taught sewing to women's groups. 
Both Barbara and David are deacons 
at the local Apostolic Faith Mission 

The Wynnes have worked in Zambia 
for four years now. They plan on finish- 
ing their term in 1987. Already they 
are thinking of ways to turn their 
work over to local people. A Zambian 
woman has recently taken over Bar- 
bara's work in teaching new recipes 
and nutrition. Jan Preheim 


John Fehr, General Conference mis- 
sionary in Uruguay, has been asked to 
begin a new church in Montevideo. He 
will move to the capital city from Las 
Piedra, where he has worked in disci- 
pleship ministries for two years. The 
Evangelization Board, which comprises 
representatives of the Spanish-speak- 
ing and German-speaking Mennonite 
conferences of Uruguay, met Nov. 16, 
1985, and made this decision. 

In Zaire, Bible institute students are 
conducting services in the local prison 
at Tshikapa. The Kalonda "Institut 
Biblique" students, under the leader- 
ship of Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission 
worker Mary Epp, have a ministry 
that combines a spiritual program 
with food assistance for the prisoners. 
"If we bring a program we must also 
bring food to these starving people," 
the students said. "Otherwise our tes- 
timony will not sound authentic." 
Mary, who has been instructor at the 
Kalonda Bible Institute since 1980, is 
sponsored by the Commission on Over- 
seas Mission. 

Mennonite Farm Neighbours has 

begun collecting animal fodder and 
funds to help troubled farmers in Sas- 
katchewan. The organization, a volun- 
teer group sponsored by Mennonite 
Central Committee Manitoba, plans to 
ship fodder to the neighboring prov- 
ince via the Saskatchewan Farm 
Neighbors and distribute it through 
local committees established in 12 
communities hard hit by poor crops. 
Drought, grasshoppers, wheat midge, 
diamond black moths, numerous dis- 
eases and even floods have taken their 
toll on normally profitable operations. 
The SFN says many farmers are now 
in dire need of animal fodder. 


Feb. 28-March 4— Council of Commis- 
sions, Newton, Kan. 

May 15-18— Festival of Worship, 
Goshen, Ind. 

July 21-27— General Conference Tri- 
ennial Sessions, Saskatoon, theme: 
"Thy Kingdom Come" 

Feb. 21-22— Conference of Menno- 
nites in Manitoba, Carman 

Feb. 21-23— Conference of Menno- 
nites in British Columbia, Abbotsford 

Feb. 28-March 1— Conference of Men- 
nonites in Saskatchewan, Waldheim 

March 14-16— Conference of Menno- 
nites in Ontario, Waterloo 

March 21-23— Conference of Menno- 
nites in Alberta 

July 4-8— Conference of Mennonites 
in Canada, Waterloo, Ont. 


Harold Thiessen, Snohomish, Wash., 
died Jan. 2. Between 1946 and 1968 he 
pastored General Conference congrega- 
tions in Middlebury, Ind.; Donnelson, 
Iowa; and Summerfield, 111. Since 1970 
he had been medically retired as a 
result of Huntington's Disease. He is 
survived by his wife, Marie, six chil- 
dren, one brother and two sisters. 


Mike Bogard, interim pastor at Salem 
Church, Freeman, S.D., has accepted a 
permanent pastorate there. 

Truman Brunk has completed his 
pastorate at Akron (Pa.) Church. 

Susan Ortman Goering will be or- 

dained Feb. 16 at Arvada (Colo.) 

Waldo Kaufman is interim pastor at 
Calvary Church, Liberal, Kan. 

Timothy Kliewer was installed as 
pastor of First Church, Paso Robles, 
Calif., on Jan. 12. 

C. Nevin Miller is interim pastor at 
Grace Church, Pandora, Ohio. 

Mark Wiens is associate pastor at 
Silverwood Church, Goshen, Ind. 

Floyd Zuercher became pastor at 
Walton (Kan.) Church in December 


Henry and Susan Gerbrandt began a 
short-term assignment on Jan. 4 as 
mission volunteers with the Commis- 
sion on Overseas Mission in Mexico. 
They are living in Swift Colony, giving 
pastoral leadership to the Burwalde 
Mennonite congregation. 

Isbrand Hiebert, Elim Church, Loma 
Plata, Paraguay, began a one-year 
MCC term in Winnipeg, working in 
the MCC Canada Peace and Social 
Concerns office. He received a bache- 
lor's degree from Bethel College in 
North Newton, Kan., and a bachelor's 
degree in theology from Canadian 
Mennonite Bible College, in Winnipeg. 
He and his wife, Martha, have four 
children, Iris, Detlef, Vincent and 

Edna and Paul Hunsberger, Goshen, 
Ind., have been appointed as hosts of 
the Brubacher House museum by Con- 
rad Grebel College in Waterloo, Ont. 
Their assignment will begin next fall. 

Stephen "Tig" and Karen Flueckiger 
Intagliata, COM missionaries in Santa 
Cruz, Bolivia, returned to Berne, Ind., 
in December due to the severe illness 


and death of Karen's mother, Irene 
Flueckiger. They will stay here on 
North America Assignment for one 
year, living in Pasadena, Calif., where 
Tig will study at Fuller Theological 
Seminary. They have one son, Andrew. 

Art Klassen, First United Mennonite 
Church, Vancouver, began a two-year 
MCC term at New Hamburg, Ont. He 
is an administrator for the MCC 
SELFHELP store there. He received a 
degree in theology from Canadian 
Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg. 

MCC Canada added three new work- 
ers to the staff in Winnipeg: Harold 
Koslowsky is the Overseas Services 
assistant; Agnes Hubert and Barry 
Nolan are providing general assistance 
in administering the China Educa- 
tional Exchange program and are serv- 
ing with the Coalition of Provincial 
Organizations of the Handicapped. 

Eva Martens, Crystal City (Man.) 
Church, began a three-month MCC 
term at SELFHELP Crafts and the 
material aid center in Ephrata, Pa. 

Royce and Marlene Klassen McKit- 
rick, Mennonite Brethren Church, 
Marion, Kan., began a one-year MVS 
term as resident managers of Yarrow 
Gardens Apartments in Arvada, Colo. 
They are graduates of the University 
of Illinois and Goshen (Ind.) College, 

40 JANUARY 28, 1986 

A new emphasis on Russian Menno- 
nite studies is taking shape at Conrad 
Grebel College, Waterloo, Ont. Coordi- 
nating the effort on a part-time basis 
is Leonard Friesen, a doctoral student 
in Russian history at the University of 
Toronto. According to Rodney Sa- 
watsky, acting president, this new 
emphasis has three objectives: to give 
the Mennonite experience in Russia 
the attention it warrants, to record 
and describe that experience "in such 
a way as to be of value to those within 
and outside that tradition" and to use 
the Mennonites as a window "to view 
the Imperial Russia of yesterday and 
the Soviet Union of today." 

An appeal from East and West 
German theologians, activists and 
members of the Protestant church 
leadership in the two countries says, 
"We welcome the Soviet Union's test 
halt (of nuclear weapons) as a political 
initiative which breaks the dynamic of 
the arms race, thereby creating a con- 
dition for its renewal." The signers 
also urge the Soviets to extend their 
moratorium on nuclear weapons test- 
ing. "We call on the United States to 
respond immediately to the Soviet halt 
in testing by stopping its own nuclear 
weapons testing," the statement 

The Mennonite Central Committee 

U.S. Office of Criminal Justice and 
Mennonite Steering Committee on 
Corrections are compiling a directory 
of Mennonites and Brethren in Christ 
in the United States who are involved 
in prison ministry. The goal is to en- 
courage networking and mutual sup- 
port. If you are involved in prison min- 
istry or know someone who is, contact 
Al Wengerd, MCC U.S. Office of Crimi- 
nal Justice, 220 W High St., Elkhart, 
IN 46516, (219) 293-3090. 






respectively. Her parents are Donald 
and Lenora Klassen of Rocky Ford, 
Colo. They have four children. 

Goldie Miller, Salem Church, Free- 
man, S.D., began a two-year MCC 
term in Ephrata, Pa., as a cook in the 
SELFHELP Crafts tea room. Her step- 
mother is Helen Gering of Freeman. 
Her children are Arlen and Steve 
Miller and Jessie Peters. 

Bertha Mountford, Oak Grove 
Church, Smithville, Ohio, began a 
three-month MCC term in Ephrata, 
Pa., as a cashier at the SELFHELP 
Crafts shop. 

Larry W. Newswanger, Mutual Aid 
Minister at Mennonite Mutual Aid, 
Goshen, Ind., has resigned effective 
Feb. 28. 

Penny Peery, Sinking Springs Presby- 
terian Church, began a two-year MVS 
term as church community worker at 
Welcome Inn in Hamilton, Ont. She 
received a degree in social work from 
Eastern Mennonite College, Harrison- 
burg, Va. Her parents are Carl and 
Charlotte Peery. 

Evelyn Riediger, Peace Church, Rich- 
mond, B.C., has terminated a short- 
term COM/ Africa Inter-Mennonite 
Mission assignment in Burkina Faso. 

Erich Sawatzky began as director of 
field education at Associated Menno- 


nite Biblical Seminaries, Elkhart, Ind., 
Jan. 1. 

David Shelly was appointed to a new 
position as editor of Mennonite World 
Conference publications on Dec. 1, 
1985. He is serving half time with 
MWC and half time for Mennonite 
Weekly Review in Newton, Kan. In two 
years he will assume full-time duties 
in Lombard, 111., with MWC. 

Marjorie Olson Stucky, Fort Collins 
(Colo.) Church, is the new Foundation 
Series resource person for the Western 
District Conference. 

Walter Unger, instructor and aca- 
demic dean of Columbia Bible College, 
Clearbrook, B.C., was appointed presi- 
dent of CBC in November 1985. 

Carla Wiebe, Zoar Church, 
Waldheim, Sask., began an MVS term 
as a child-care worker in Liberal, Kan. 

Her parents are Tina and the late 
Albert Wiebe of Waldheim. 

Rosemary Wyse, Hively Avenue 
Church, Elkhart, Ind., is at Union 
Biblical Seminary, Pune, India, for five 
months assisting in the library and 
teaching English. She is sponsored by 
the Commission on Overseas Mission. 

WHEN we undcrxfind 
the actual alight of our 
contemporaries . . . ehare 
their offering, THEN «e 
shall be able to f reclaim 
the Word of Goa*. 

For information on service assignments 

Mennonite Voluntary Service 

Box 347, Newton, KS 671 14 / 316-283-5100 


If you want to 
preach only to 
our souls, go to 
the place of the 
dead. That is the 
only place where 
body and soul 
are separate. 
Here on earth to 
reach my soul, 
you cannot 
neglect my body. 

Pastor Samuel Yameogo, 
director of Federation of 
Evangelical Churches in 
Burkina Faso and partner in 
MCC work 

Express God's love in your 
word and deed. Volunteer for a 
term of service with MCC. For a 
list of personnel openings and 
qualifications write to: 

V Mennonite Central Committee 
* 21 South 12th St. 
Box M 

Akron, PA 17501 

MCC Canada 
201-1483 Pembina Hwy. 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2C8 


Amen to prophecy 

Re: "An Advent Prophecy" by Darrell 
Ediger (Dec. 10, 1985, issue) . . . Amen! 
Winona Rempel, 673 Patricia Ave., 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 3A8 

Dec. 17 

Commend integrity article 

This is to commend you most highly 
for your excellent article, "Integrity at 
Funerals" (Dec. 10, 1985, issue). This 
must have taken a little (prayerful) 
courage to refer to a number of specific 
instances, from which the ministers 
referred to will be able to identify 
themselves— I hope. 

It reminds me of the widow who, at 
her husband's funeral, walked to the 
front and looked into the open casket 
to see if it really was her husband in 
there whom the preacher was eulogiz- 

It reminds me also of the late John 
Plenert, an early minister at the Hut- 
chinson Mennonite Church, who told 
of a funeral he had had at East (or 
West) Swamp Church in Pennsylvania 
of a young Christian girl whose father 
was not a Christian but was converted 
at the funeral. He then became a soul- 
winning preacher at one of those 
churches. He is now with the Lord. 

I would like to tell you of the funeral 
of a man here in First Mennonite 
Church, who was killed in a motorcy- 
cle accident. Over 30 motorcyclists- 
men and women— in leather jackets 
came. It was a wonderful opportunity 
for a strong evangelical sermon. C. B. 
Friesen, 415 East First, Newton, KS 

Dec. 18 

It is a concern 

With deep personal concern I read of 
the involvement of Beatrice Church 
persons with "Christian Identity" 
(Dec. 24, 1985, issue). Grace Moyer 
Frounfelker, Box 3, Forksville, PA 

Jan. 6 

Sexuality like ice cream 

It is incredible to me that in the West- 
ern District Forum on Homosexuality 
and in the reporting (Dec. 24, 1985, 
issue) sexuality is treated much as 
one's choice of ice cream flavor. 

The Bible expresses itself no more 
clearly on any issue (not even on salva- 

tion itself) than in its condemnation of 
homosexuality. It is not the only or the 
worst of sins. Still, this does not give 
anyone license to condone it. How can 
we act in the 20th century as though 
there is no such thing as exegesis (the 
science of interpretation)? 

Those who use passages about Jona- 
than and David's friendship in order to 
attempt a sanction of homosexuality 
only prove the inadequacy in their 
interpretation. And to say our Lord 
had homosexual relations with anyone 
is so blasphemous as to call into ques- 
tion the conversion of the ones who 
suggest it. 

It is popular to confuse homosexual- 
ity and deep, abiding friendship be- 
tween two people of the same sex. 
These are not the same thing. We are 
afflicted by the modern association of 
love with sex. The Bible records many 
deep friendships between men, for 
instance, and the New Testament en- 
courages us to love one another. But a 
homosexual relationship means a love 
affair between two of the same sex (or 
the desire for such an affair, if we take 
the Sermon on the Mount seriously). 
This is a denial and destruction of 
God's creation order— expressly con- 
demned by the New Testament. 

It was particularly a problem, for 
instance, at Corinth. And to Corinth 
Paul wrote, "Don't you know that the 
unrighteous will not inherit the king- 
dom of God? Don't be deceived: neither 
fornicators (pornoi) . . . nor the effemi- 
nate, nor homosexuals . . . will inherit 
the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 
6:9). The words for "effeminate" (mala- 
koi) and "homosexual" (arsenokoita) 
stress the active and passive homosex- 
ual roles. It is well for Mennonites to 
note that the New Testament places 
more emphasis upon sexual morality 
for Christians than it does on non- 

We must not confuse ethics with 
counseling. Those tempted by homosex- 
uality can be approached with love 
and extended the healing offered by 
Jesus. However, that does not mean we 
must soften our ethical stance in order 
to facilitate counseling and/or conver- 
sion. Our Lord is our example here: 
stricter than any Pharisee in his ethi- 
cal stance (e.g. on adultery, divorce), 
yet ready to receive repentant sinners 
gladly. Remember that we are com- 
manded to love our neighbor only after 
the first and greatest commandment: 
to love the Lord our God with all our 
heart, soul, strength and mind. I urge 

you to present this side of the issue to 
your readers— the biblical perspective— 
for the sake of Christ's church and 
without fear of what any factions may 
do or think. Terence Paige, M.C.S., 
7720 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 

Jan. 7 

Look to mystical 

"God Can Work Fast," by Jacob Enz 
(Dec. 10, 1985, issue) was like an early 
Christmas present. (It was miraculous 
that Canada Post got that issue here 
by Dec. 17— seven calendar days.) 

The fact that miracles happen is 
often lost on us as we get more and 
more "muppified." Our current brand 
of Anabaptism is tending toward ra- 
tional statements devoid of emotion. 
We leave that for our music making. 
Jacob Enz' experience is a breath of 
fresh air. It confirms that God con- 
tinues to work in mysterious ways and 
that prayer to God is communication 
with a Personal Beyond. 

While the decision to embark on a 
life's voyage with God should to a 
great extent be done in a clear-headed 
fashion— using one's rational powers- 
it is often our emotions that drive us. 
God has created us in such a way that 
we can respond in a number of ways 
unless we let ourselves be trained to 
walk along narrow streets of experi- 
ence only. We deprive most of all our- 
selves when we live in one sphere only. 

Those who respond to miraculous 
healings by listing a catalogue of epi- 
sodes where such did not happen prob- 
ably also look upon the Almighty as 
one gigantic robot who responds when 
one pushes a button. But the miracle 
in the situation where there is no obvi- 
ous physical healing may be in the 
circle of love from fellow Christians 
which surrounds the suffering one. 
Harold Kushner makes that point 
poignantly in When Bad Things Hap- 
pen to Good People. We should look at 
our life of faith as long-term invest- 
ment given to long-term results. Eter- 
nal truths begin to spring on us now; 
their full clarity will reach us in many 
cases in the eons ahead. 

Let us learn in our congregations to 
give greater credence to the mystical 
realities of prayer and God's healing, 
in whatever way these realities mani- 
fest themselves. Lome R. Buhr, 716 
Knottwood Road S., Edmonton, AB 
T6K 1W5 

Jan. 7 


Editor's journal jottings— 2 

From Oct. 24-Dec. 2, 1985, I visited Paraguay, Uruguay, 
Brazil, Colombia and Panama. This included a 2 1 k-week 
preaching assignment in Paraguay. In this issue of The 
Mennonite / share the second in a series of three sets of 
notes recorded in my daily diary during those days. Bernie 

Thursday, Nov. 7 

Today we visited the Yalwa Sanga Indian Center. The resi- 
dential school has over 100 students ranging up to seventh 
grade (in age some are past 20 and already married). Stu- 
dents are made up of children of the Mennonite workers, 
native Paraguayans and of children from various Indian 
groups. They also have a Bible school here. Foreman 
("Evaschuld") at Yalwa Sanga is Hans Teichroeb, a native 
Lengua Indian, who attended Mennonite World Conference 
at Wichita, Kan., and preached in over 40 GC churches. 
(He speaks a flawless Low German.) 

Friday, Nov. 8 

I chauffeured my cousins' car as we drove to the 60 (South 
Menno). Visited all day with my other cousins, Cornelius 
and Maria Sawatzky, along with their daughter Tina, at 
Rudnerweide. We did a lot of reminiscing together about 
relatives. No electricity on their place. Evening service at 
Gronau Church, where Abe Hiebert, son-in-law to the Sa- 
watzkys, is one of the ministers. 

Saturday, Nov. 9 

Today is the official farewell for the Spencer Quartet and 
myself. I don't find farewells easy and this one is no differ- 
ent. Time of warm fellowship and good food under the 

Sunday, Nov. 10 

Service at the first church built by Mennonites in the 
Chaco— Osterwick. A fitting conclusion to our series of 25 
services in 2Vz weeks. Temperatures have been well over 
100° F these days. 

Tuesday, Nov. 12 

Two Commission on Overseas Mission staff people, Glen- 
don Klaassen and Jeannie Zehr, have arrived in the Chaco. 
This morning was spent in official sessions of the Menno- 

nite Missions Committee for Paraguay (MMKfP). The part- 
nership between MMKfP and COM has been significant to 
date. COM still contributes to the budget (22 percent for 
1986— $26,000) but on a decreasing scale and mainly for 
leadership training. A big problem this year has been the 
double-digit inflation in Paraguay (Guarani went from 
200/$l U.S. to 700/$l U.S. within 1985). Program includes 
Indian ministries and other outreach. 

One leadership training proposal approved was for Gun- 
dolf Niebuhr to study at Elkhart, Ind., in further prepara- 
tion for serving among the Indians. 

Wednesday, Nov. 13 

Two significant experiences in addition to visiting CEMTA 
(the center for Mennonite theological education in Asun- 
cion), where they were preparing for commencement. 

Visited Kilometer 81, the hospital and leprosarium lo- 
cated 81 km out of Asuncion. They still have 40-45 people 
with leprosy in residence. Here the "curse" of leprosy is 
being released, and patients are anxious to talk. One said 
he found healing because of the "shoemaker" who made 
shoes so he could walk comfortably. Another pointed to the 
chapel and said, "I'm happy because of God." A beautiful 
thought— healing because of God and God's people. 

Saw the new Mennonite church in Asuncion. Was re- 
minded that in Paraguay the GCs, MBs and EMBs essen- 
tially do things together. They go separate ways mainly for 
the "Gemeindestund" (special times for the membership). 

Friday, Nov. 15 

Left Paraguay behind with many beautiful memories. Not 
so good was that I managed to catch a cold in its heat. 

Arrived in Montevideo, Uruguay, today. Together with 
COM missionary John Fehr, Glendon Klaassen and Jean- 
nie Zehr, we drove out to Delta Colony (about 120 km 
away) to visit German Mennonites. They are of Danzig 

Came back to the former Mennonite seminary campus 
for the night. It is now a Mennonite study center. I sleep in 
the former music classroom. 

Oh yes, we went to an ice cream store recommended by 
John Fehr. The helpings were so huge, even I was unable 
to finish mine. 

(1) Hans Teichroeb, Lengua Indian farmer, who is foreman •'Evaschuld" of the Lengua Indian group. (2) Gundolf Niebuhr wdl study at 
AMBS to better serve the Indians. (3) Laundry day at the Funks in Loma Plata. (4) The MMKfP in session outdoors at Johan T. Funk s 
place. (5) Our farewell to the Chaco in the Giesbrechts' "fence." (6) The large, new, modern church in Asuncion. (7) This man with leprosy 
said it was OK to take his photo. (8) Model of the new Mennonite Center. 

Saturday, Nov. 16 

Annual meeting of the Junta de Evangelizacion at the 
Emmanuel Church. An integrated board of missionaries, 
German Mennonites and Uruguayan nationals. Emmanuel 
pastor Hugo Morreira said much is happening in Uru- 
guayan churches. Not expanding like Korea but. . . . 
Asdravol Vique said, "But we have many needs." 

Discussion reflected that Uruguayan churches are mostly 
of poorer economic strata. Most of the Junta budget goes 
for workers, but 90 percent of that comes from North 
America. COM staff wondered what this means for a 
church now 30 years old. 

Hard discussion. Some argued in defense of the poor. 
Others wondered if it's time to push for more self-support. 

Then came the proposal for a new building to symbolize 
the Mennonite Study Center on the old seminary site. Af- 
ter much discussion, the architect's plans were approved. 
Most of those funds will also come from the United States 
and Canada. 

They freed John Fehr for a new church planting assign- 
ment in Montevideo. He's quite excited about that. I got 
the feeling John might try to build a church among a more 
affluent class of people. He appears to have the necessary 
skills and dedication. 

Sunday, Nov. 17 

Day of the annual convention for the Spanish Mennonite 
churches in Uruguay— Convencion de Iglesias Menonitas 
de Uruguay— at the Sauce Church. Waldemar Driedger is 
the pastor. 

I had the privilege of meeting John and Bonnie Driver. 
He teaches at the study center and agreed to translate for 
me at the convention. 

The church was so full, people were asked to take chil- 
dren on their laps and put others on the floor. The whole 
building soon rang to music, guitars, clapping . . . based on 
Zechariah: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit. 
. . ." Singing was dominant, instruments and clapping all 
in a facilitating manner. 

Two sermons in the morning. Lunch and recreation. Then 
reports from all the churches (some were readings, some 
testimonies and some skits). 

Excitement and optimism was strongly evident in the 
whole day's activities. It feels good that we are partners in 
ministry with these believers in Uruguay. 

Monday, Nov. 18 

Off to Curitiba in Brazil. En route we stopped at Porto 
Allegre and at Sao Paulo (here Erwin Rempel, COM execu- 
tive secretary, joined us). Sao Paulo greeted us impres- 
sively. From the sky it looked like this city of 13 million 
was largely covered/capped with copper. I was reminded of 
roofs tanned in the hot sun. 

Ralf and Heinz, two young sons of Gerhard Peters in 
Curitiba, took me upstairs so that we could visit privately 
in their bedroom. They wanted to know if I had ever been 
to Disneyland. Then they had 1,000 more questions. Both 
attend the Mennonite private school of about 1,000 stu- 
dents in grades 1-12 here in Curitiba. 

Tuesday, Nov. 19 

We visited the Portuguese churches in Curitiba and in 
Palmeira. Teodoro and Susie Penner are pastors in Pal- 
meira. Rev. Peters is pastor of the Xaxim Church in Curi- 
tiba. Others have Portuguese pastors. There are struggles 
over charismatic expression in the churches. 

Lunch at Witmarsum with Peter Pauls Sr.— a name like a 
legend to me from Mennonite history— one of the pioneer 
settlers in Brazil. A rare privilege to visit in person. 

Visited a huge AMAS (Church Social Service agency) 
day-care center in Palmeira (well over 200 children) with a 
vocational school and an emerging congregation on the 

This evening there was a meeting with AIMB (the Ger- 
man Mennonite Conference) leaders at the Boqueron 
Church. It appears there is some tension between the 
AIMB and AEM (Portuguese Mennonite Conference). The 
AEM has divided work in Brazil into five regions. AIMB is 
directly involved mainly in Region Two. AMAS (the Brazil 
equivalent of our MCC) was to serve as social support 
agency for both conferences. This has not worked out too 
well because AEM has not always understood how AMAS 
fits in. AIMB would like to see closer correlation of these 
ministries. Of some concern is also what it means for 
AIMB churches to be GC members. 

I am impressed that there is much evidence of caring for 
the total person through these churches. AMAS is a big 
agency and has several revenue sources in Europe. The 
questions of how social services and evangelism go to- 
gether is a familiar one. Their struggles are like ours. 

(9) CEMTA. (10) Junta de Evangelizacion meeting in Montevideo. (11) People leaving the rally at Sauce. (12) Teodor and Susie Penner at 
Palmeiro, (13)The Sauce Church was too small. (14) Glendon Klaassen confers with AIMB leaders. 


Teaching children peace 

Gladdys Makes Peace by Jan Hogan 
(Brethren Press, 1985), Mattie Loves 
All by Mildren Hess Grimley (Brethren 
Press, 1985) 

Reviewed by Bernie Wiebe, editor 

Many people assume that the issue of 
peace and non-resistance is a matter 
for adults. Far from fact. Unless we lay 
solid foundations for peacemaking 
early in people's lives, it becomes diffi- 
cult to adopt such a lifestyle as an 

And while there are some excellent 
books available to teach the way of 
Christ to children, beginning with the 
Bible and several excellent ones by 
Cornelia Lehn, this area needs more 

The Church of the Brethren has re- 
cently released two more excellent 
resources for children on this topic. 

Gladdys Makes Peace is an early 
elementary level storybook telling 
about Gladdys Esther Muir (1895- 
1967)— how she grew from childhood 
and how she lived. 

The storyline will fascinate children, 
and it teaches via the story, not by 
imposed moralisms. 

Illustrations are objective enough so 
as not to be misunderstood. But they 
have an element of surrealism that is 
sure to evoke good questions and to 
stimulate fertile imaginations of 

Gladdys Muir founded the Peace 
Studies Institute at Manchester Col- 
lege, the first program of this type in 
the world. A story well worth knowing. 

Mattie Loves All is similar, except it 
tells of Martha Cunningham Dolby 
(1876-1956), one of the first black 
women to be called to the ministry 
among the Church of the Brethren. 

This book gives good historical in- 
sight to some CB traditions— clothes, 
customs. It also helps children see 
what a call to ministry means. 

And while Mattie Loves All may be 
regarded by some as strictly a book 
about women's roles in the church, I 
believe it is also an appropriate book 
for peace teaching because it shows 
Mattie following Christ's call in her 
life. After all, peacemaking is simply 
faithful discipleship. 

The story is fascinating and will 
intrigue youngsters. The illustrations 
are plain and demonstrate a lifestyle. 

Both books are highly recommended 

to all who care about teaching Christ's 
way in the lives of children. Excellent 
for children's items in church and for 
family use. 

Why suffering? 

Grace Grows Best in Winter by Mar- 
garet Clarkson (Eerdmans, 1985, 207 

Reviewed by Janice Pauls, Route 2, 
McPherson, KS 67460 

Whenever catastrophes engulf Chris- 
tians, the inevitable question is why. 
Why is God doing this to us? 

Margaret Clarkson concedes that 
afflictions do come directly from God 
and that no evil can touch his fol- 
lowers unless he permits it. She sug- 
gests, however, that because God does 
everything out of love, the trials and 
suffering Christians must endure are 
not punishment but means by which 
they are strengthened. She uses bibli- 
cal references from Job to illustrate 
that God's followers are perfected 
through suffering. 

Clarkson points out that life needs 
trials just as the natural environment 
needs clouds. Without clouds in the 
universe, there would be no rain, vege- 
tation or life. Without trials, human 
beings are not able to grow and ma- 
ture in God's grace. "The sole reason 
for our existence in this body is that 
God may be glorified in us," says 
Clarkson. "If there is one thing that 
pain or sorrow will do for a Christian, 
it is to enlarge his capacity for God." 
She believes that we can only fully 
appreciate the rainbow after having 
experienced clouds on our horizon. 

In her view, God not only permits 
suffering but chooses those to whom he 
brings tribulation. She writes, "Only if 
we can learn to look upon our trials as 
having been chosen for us by the one 
who has made us to be his own inheri- 
tance and who has given himself to us 
as our portion and inheritance in re- 
turn, can we stand up to the pressures 
of pain and trouble with unbroken 
spirit and bring forth from our thorny 
walls the fruit which he requires of 

Clarkson refers to suffering as God's 
hedges that confine his chosen ones 
but also, to some extent, protect them. 
She deals at some length with faith 
and how it relates to these hedges. 

Evidently the author has experi- 
enced a great deal of suffering in her 

own life and through her experiences 
has formulated the philosophy related 
in the book. Some concrete examples 
might have been helpful in more 
clearly communicating her message to 
the reader, but many will find help by 
reading Grace Grows Best in Winter. 

Rural issues 

The Family Farm: Can It Be Saved? 

by Shantilal P. Bhagat (Brethren Press, 
1985, 75 pages) 

Reviewed by LaVonne Piatt, Route 2, 
Newton, KS 67114 

From a brief historical overview of U.S. 
agriculture to a discussion of agricul- 
ture in the future, The Family Farm: 
Can It Be Saved? sketches the chang- 
ing structure of American agriculture, 
suggests causes for the changes and 
goes on to assess the current farm 
crisis from economic and other 

In his 75-page booklet prepared as a 
Church of the Brethren response to the 
need for study material on the current 
farm crisis, agricultural economist 
Shantilal P. Bhagat helps readers get 
in touch with rural issues and guides 
them to an analysis of the present 
situation and future options for Ameri- 
can agriculture. 

"Should the church be involved in 
the current rural crisis?" Bhagat asks 
and then answers affirmatively. 

"Viewed from a biblical perspective, 
the current crisis in American agricul- 
ture is fundamentally a justice issue, a 
moral and political issue. The big 
question it raises is who will control 
the land. Who exercises authority over 
the land? God's Word on this is clear. 
God owns, we tend." 

Included in each of the six chapters 
in the booklet are brief reactions from 
people involved in the issues being 
considered, questions and ideas for 
discussion and a list of action possibili- 
ties that make the booklet usable by 
church and community groups. A re- 
source section at the end includes a 
list of organizations working on farm 
issues as well as lists of audiovisual 
and other materials. 

One wishes the material had been 
expanded to book length in order to 
provide a more in-depth understanding 
of today's agricultural situation. It 
could then have served even more ap- 
propriately as a basis for action by 

46 JANUARY 28, 1986 


The tune of our priorities 

She was genuinely excited when she told me how much she 
enjoyed her new job. She was teaching about 10 fourth 
graders. My friend in another church then told me she 
would probably resign at the end of the quarter. 

"But why," I asked, "when you enjoy it so much?" The 
mother of one of her students had even complimented her 
on how much her child had enjoyed the Sunday school 

"It really ties you down," she explained. "We like to be 
able to take off on weekends and we can't do that this sum- 
mer if I'm teaching." 

How sad, I thought, that in contributing to the Christian 
training of children or young people we feel we are tied 
down. Have we lost our sense of dedication? 

A gifted musician told me that what our choirs needed 
were more singers willing to donate one hour a week to 
practice. It creates serious doubts about our dedication. 
When the gifted singers sitting in the sanctuary outnum- 
ber those in the choir loft, you ponder the lines, "Take my 
voice and let me sing,/ Always, only, for my King." 

Children and young people question our sincerity or dedi- 
cation when they see cars drive to the church door, unload 
the children and then head back home— planning to catch 
another 40 winks or to read the Sunday paper before mak- 
ing it back in time for church. 

If the teenagers I'm trying to woo into attending class 
have parents who sleep in and give them no encourage- 
ment to come, surely those young people must get the feel- 
ing that church school can't be all that important. How 
can we expect to keep young people interested in Christian 
education if we set a poor example? 

The older generation expresses horror when young people 
question the double standards so often practiced by their 
elders. Many sincere church people find time to take an 
active part in service clubs of various kinds and help with 
Blue Birds, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, social organiza- 
tions and study clubs. They back school athletic teams 
with little hesitation. Some of these same people say no 
when it comes to helping promote the spiritual welfare of 
the church. "Take my life and let it be/ Consecrated, Lord, 
to Thee." Indeed? 

These other organizations are not evil, but when Chris- 
tians fill their schedules to the breaking point with these 
and then find themselves unable to serve their church, 
where they gain spiritual nourishment, we have reason to 
wonder about priorities. Are we the dedicated Christians 
we claim to be? How often we make a mockery of "Take 
my moments and my days;/ Let them flow in ceaseless 

We hear a report that our mission boards need more 
money to send new workers to the field. If our children see 
us fumble with our nickels and dimes when the offering 
plate passes us in church, we need not be too surprised 
when they doubt our profession of "Take my silver and my 
gold;/ Not a mite would I withhold." 

"Take my love; my Lord, I pour 

At Thy feet its treasure store; 

Take myself, and I will be 

Ever, only, all for Thee." 

Helen Friesen 


The biblical ideal for peace is much more than a world free of war. 
Prophetic messages in Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 speak about a demo- 
lition of weapons and recycling them into useful implements for 
tilling the soil. 

Our world today needs more than resisters to war. We must 
sincerely follow Jesus' call to be peace "makers" (Matthew 5:9). 

This issue takes us deep into the core of being ready to follow 
the Prince of Peace. 

Can you love a terrorist? 26 

Disarmament: Is it all or nothing? 28 

Voices of faith from Mexico 30 

Winter 30 

Look therefore carefully (Ephesians 6) 31 

The vow of non-violence 32 

Diary of a volunteer mediator 32 

News 34 

CIM discusses mutuality, Europe, mission support 34 

Linscheid named communications director 36 

Colombian Mennonites bring relief 37 

Record 40 

Letters 43 

Editor's journal jottings— 2 44 

Teaching children peace 46 

Why suffering? 46 

Rural issues 46 

The tune of priorities 47 

Let's pray for peace 48 


Sanford Boshart, 1897 Field Ave., St. Paul, MN 55116, is a mem- 
ber of Faith Mennonite Church. He and his family recently ac- 
cepted an MCC assignment in New Orleans. 

A. Emerson Wiens, Route 1, Box 35A, Newton, KS 67114, is a 
professor of industrial arts at Bethel College. 

The poem by Rachel Hartman (age 11) is reprinted by permis- 
sion from Baptist Peacemaker, April 1985, 1733 Bardstown Road, 
Louisville, KY 40205. 

The meditation is by free-lance writer Helen Friesen, Box 256, 
Butterfield, MN 56120. 


Cover, 27, 28, 29, 37, RNS; 31, 33, Paul M. Schrock, Box 200, 
Scottdale, PA 15683; 35, Peter Williams (WCC photo); 38, Charles 
Geiser (MCC); 39, Marvin Bartel (MCC); 44, 45, Bernie Wiebe. 


Editor: Bernie Wiebe 
600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4 / (204) 888-6781 

Assistant editor: Gordon Houser 

722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 / (316) 283-5100 

Editorial assistant: Sharon Sommer 
Art director: John Hiebert 
The Mennonite is a member of the Associated Church Press, 
Evangelical Press Association and Meetinghouse (a Mennonite 
and Brethren in Christ editors' group). It is an associate member of 
the Canadian Church Press. 

Business manager: Dietrich Rempel. Circulation secretary: Marilyn Kauf- 
man. Special editions editors: Central District, Evelyn Krehbiel, 229 Brook- 
wood, Bluffton, OH 45817; Pacific District, Carol Peterson, Box 338, Upland, 
CA 91785; Western District, Debbie Huxman, Box 306, North Newton, KS 
67117; Window to Mission, Lois Deckert, 122 W. Dayton Yellow Springs 
Road, Apt. #4, Fairborn, OH 45324; and Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, Richard A. Kauffman, 3003 Benham Ave. Elkhart, IN 46517. 




Let's pray for peace 

Hostage takings, terrorist acts, summit "duels" and 
escalating global unrest are not consoling signs that 
"peace on earth, goodwill to all people" has truly 
been heard or taken sincerely. 

Ours is a warring world. We are angry easily, kill 
readily. We plan to establish a world to our liking 
and with our justice. 

That Christians are equally caught in such a tragic 
and futile dilemma is most readily visible in Central 
America. Millions of dollars have been provided by 
Christians in support of the contras in Nicaragua— 
for fighting the government. The Sandinista govern- 
ment also receives much money from Christians. Be- 
lievers cannot agree on who is right in Nicaragua. 

Somehow even Christians fail to learn the lessons 
of the Bible and of history. Early Christians were 
rarely to be found in armies— any armies. Tertullian 
(155-240) declared that Jesus disarmed all soldiers 
when he took Peter's sword. Origen (185-254) wrote, 
"No longer do we take the sword against any nation 
nor do we learn war anymore since we have become 
the sons of peace through Jesus" {Contra Celsum, p. 
33). Origen and others said that Christians best help 
their political leaders by praying. 

It may sound trite today to again call on Christians 
to pray for peace. But it is a call to a profound spiri- 
tuality. Gandhi once said that violent people know 
how to kill; non-violent people know how to die. 

The genuine prayer for peace is a prayer for vulner- 
ability, a prayer for opening ourselves to God and to 
other people. It is a subduing of our human wishes 
and a cultivation of our spiritual needs. It is to pray, 
"Lord, give us not so much the things we want, but 
help us learn to know the people we need to love and 
to live with." 

Such prayer seldom comes readily. It requires fast- 
ing and repeatedly going apart to be with God. It 
requires a thirsting for righteousness, a hunger to 
see all people lifted up before God, a compassion that 
God's love become known to the world, a willingness 
to die so others can live. 

How can a Christian gladly shoot to kill another 
person created in God's image— regardless of the po- 
litical or other labels such a person wears? In war- 

time, opposing soldiers have frequently found that 
they belonged to the same denomination. Yes, even 
today's Soviet military has numerous Baptist, Lu- 
therans, Pentecostals and Mennonites in its ranks. 
Can believers, in the name of Christ, blow away fel- 
low believers? 

Pray for peace. James writes, "You ask and do not 
receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your 
passion" (4:3). To pray means to grapple with and to 
overcome human biases and prejudices. We must be- 
gin to think God's thoughts, desire what he desires, 
love what he loves, progressively look at things from 
a new viewpoint. 

Can we think about that in 1986? Pray for a new 
"fix" in '86? Have we dared to let ourselves think 
differently from what seems patriotic, i.e. to think 
what is godly? Aren't most of our prayers prepro- 
grammed to fit our wills and wishes? Don't we nor- 
mally pray a disproportionate amount of "give" and 
"please make"? 

How much are we able to bow down and simply 
pray, "Lord, I do believe, but help me with the many, 
many things of my unbelief? I can't believe that 
truth and justice will overcome the great world 
powers. It is almost impossible for me to believe that 
peacemakers are blessed and that your blessing is 
upon the meek. It is clear I need help." 

When did we last pray with such honesty? When 
did we last pray in agony? 

Let us pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray until we 
can somehow overcome the tempting alternatives. 

It will cost. We'll have to agonize in loneliness. 
Tears may become drops of blood. But the victory of 
Jesus' Gethsemane prayer is worth the pain. 

Mahatma Gandhi, perhaps never fully a Christian 
as most of us perceive Christians, said, "I count no 
sacrifice too great for the sake of seeking God face to 
face. The whole of my activity, whether it may be 
called social, political, humanitarian or ethical, is 
directed to that end" (Johnston, Christian Mysticism 
Today, p. 151). 

To pray for peace is not only essential to our hope 
for peace on the globe. It is simply the right thing for 
all believers. Bernie Wiebe 





101:03 FEBRUARY 11, 1986 

Saskatoon '86 

"The dynamic of the Anabaptist movement was due at least in part to a recognition and acceptance of the fact that the 
Holy Spirit works through each part of the body." 

models of 
church and 

Bernie Loeppky 

Mennonite churches in the United 
States and Canada are in the middle 
of a crisis. It is a crisis that affects 
pastors and congregations alike. It is a 
crisis of ministry in a rapidly chang- 
ing world. 

The New Testament model of minis- 
try as we have understood it in the 
past was based on a number of things. 
It was based on the discernment of 
gifts. Different people had different 
gifts, and the ministry of the congrega- 
tion grew out of the discovery and the 
utilization of those gifts. This meant 
that many different people ministered 
in different ways. It also meant that 
no one person— hired or layperson— was 
expected to have all the gifts. 

A second factor that characterized 
the ministry of the early church was 
that of being called. The call to minis- 
try came both from an inner convic- 
tion of the Holy Spirit's leading and 
some outward confirmation, usually a 
group of fellow believers or a congrega- 
tion. As a result of this, ministry hap- 
pened in the context of the body of 
believers, and ministers were seen as 
an integral part of that body. 

50 FEBRUARY 11, 1986 

A third feature in the early church 
was the broad understanding of minis- 
try. It was not restricted to teaching or 
preaching. Ministry was any activity 
which under the Holy Spirit's direc- 
tion was used to edify the saints, build 
up the body or extend the body of be- 
lievers by reaching out to people in 
need of love, forgiveness and the Good 
News. The Reformation referred to 
this, among other things, as a priest- 
hood of believers. Believers in Christ 
were seen as free to approach God, but 
they were also able to be priests one to 

Dark Ages and ministry. Some 
three centuries after Pentecost, the 
concept of ministry was narrowed 
down to those who were officially des- 
ignated priests and bishops. That is, 
ministry was seen to be a function of 
those who held official office in the 
church. The Middle Ages (or the Dark 
Ages) therefore had a restricted and 
rigid view of valid ministry. 

Rediscovery of NT ministry. One 
of the refreshing and explosive fea- 
tures of the Reformation was the 
rediscovery of ministry in the New 
Testament sense. The dynamic of the 
Anabaptist movement was due at least 
in part to a recognition and acceptance 
of the fact that the Holy Spirit works 
through each part of the body. Pastors 
were seen as "shepherds of the flock" 
and "equippers of the saints." The 
result was a dramatic change in con- 
gregational style and ministry. Large 
numbers of believers, especially gifted 
and empowered by the Holy Spirit, 
became the driving force which could 
not be stopped. 

Historically this meant for the Men- 
nonite church that ministry was a 
direct concern of the whole body or 
congregation. Among other things, it 
resulted in a concept of lay ministers 
who functioned not as individuals but 
as members one of another or as mem- 
bers who were really an extension of 
the larger congregation. This model of 
congregational life was a radical de- 
parture from the established church. 

New concepts of ministry. During 
the past 20-30 years, the Mennonite 
church has faced a dramatic shift in 
ministry concepts. For the most part, 
these concepts have been absorbed 
from the environment rather than 
integrated by way of our biblical un- 
derstanding. On the one hand, we give 
lip service and allegiance to the Ana- 
baptist understanding or model of 
ministry. That is, we believe in a broad 
congregational ministry. At the same 
time, in the process of shifting we have 
moved with regard to pastoral leader- 
ship into a popular Protestant model 
which sees the pastor as the one who 
ministers to the congregation as well 

as for the congregation in the larger 

Pastors as general managers. The 
most extreme model in this regard is 
that of the pastor as general manager. 
This model expects the pastor to be 
the chief motivator, the chief decision 
maker, the coordinator of all commit- 
tees and generally to take responsibil- 
ity for the success or failure of the 
congregational program. However, as 
soon as a pastor lives up to this popu- 
lar model he is by definition in conflict 
with our long established model of 
congregational life. The conflict is 
built or programmed into the current 

The result of this programmed con- 
flict is a narrowed and weakened min- 
istry for congregations and pastors 
alike. Pastors are expected to be strong 
leaders who can take responsibility for 

everything that goes on in the life of 
the church. This means, among other 
things, that the pastor is expected to 
see himself as a professional person 
distinct from the body of believers or 
at the very least prepared to move on 
short notice and, if need be, to move 

The real crisis of ministry can be 
seen in the fact that few pastors' fami- 
lies are producing candidates for pasto- 
ral ministry. It is further seen by the 
high turnover rate of pastors and the 
number of churches which are in need 
of pastors. Most significantly, the crisis 
is demonstrated by the many painful 
and destructive situations that develop 
when a part or all of a congregation 
decides that it is time for a new pastor. 

Further, the difficult task of conflict 
resolution is not really an option sim- 
ply because the conflict relates to the 
existence of two incompatible models. 
These conflicts usually result in blame 
attached to the pastor, to the spouse or 
family, or indeed to a part of the con- 
gregation. Seldom, if ever, are the real 
issues dealt with. 

Consider the example of First Men- 
nonite Church (not the real name). The 
average term for a pastor in this 
church was three years. The search 
committee looking for the ideal leader 
moved beyond the Mennonite church 
for potential leadership candidates. 
Eventually they found a highly quali- 

fied pastor whose understanding of 
pastoral leadership was that of an 
efficient general manager. The initial 
response of the congregation was 
wholehearted enthusiasm. Quickly, 
however, conflict developed. The pastor 
began sincerely to work in the style of 
an effective general manager, only to 
find resistance from a congregation 
that suddenly felt threatened. Among 
other things, they reminded the new 
pastor of the fact that "as Mennonites, 
we make the decisions as a group." 
Needless to say, the pain and the hurt 
spread through the entire congrega- 
tion. The models simply did not mix or 

The crisis in ministry is by no means 
one that is limited to the call or the 
termination of pastoral leadership. 
What is involved at this point in our 
history is the basic theology or under- 

standing of what it means to be a con- 
gregation. Because we have allowed 
ourselves to be drawn into a model of 
ministry which does not fit our congre- 
gational theology, we have set our- 
selves up for a whole host of problems. 

In some ways Mennonite churches 
are faced with a critical choice. On the 
one hand, we can adapt our theology of 
the church to fit whatever the popular 
version of pastoral leadership happens 
to be. On the other hand, we can ask 
the basic and difficult questions about 
congregational life and discipleship 
and its meaning for our time. Cer- 
tainly as a first step we need to strug- 
gle for a clearer understanding of con- 
gregational theology, including the 
question of pastoral leadership. 

It appears clearer that if we are to 
maintain our biblical understanding of 
the congregation, we will need to 
make some bold choices in terms of the 
standard Protestant pastoral model 
and congregational theology. 

Several possibilities may well exist. 
There is a need, however, to discover 
again the dynamic relationship of the 
early church and the Anabaptist move- 
ment. In other words, the whole con- 
cept of ministry needs to be rediscov- 
ered by the congregation as a body of 
believers, and in the process models of 
pastoral leadership need to fit our 
congregational theology and not the 
other way around. • 

We have mixed our Anabaptist model of the congregation as a 
decision-making body with the popular Protestant model of 
pastors being general managers or chief executive officers. 


Ministerial leadership in the Gei 

Jacob T. Friesen 

For 15 years (1970-1984) Jacob T. 
Friesen served as director for General 
Conference Ministerial Leadership 
Services. During these years Jake par- 
ticipated in over 500 leadership 
changes. He became acquainted with 
nearly all GC pastors and their 

Upon his retirement, Jake was asked 
to reflect upon ministerial services and 
needs in our conference. 

Leadership changes. Each year 40 to 
60 leadership changes are made in 
U.S. and Canadian GC churches. Sixty 
to 100 additional congregations engage 
in a pastor review leading to a vote or 
consensus to extend or terminate the 
pastor's term of service. Every year 
nearly one-third of our pastors (most 
with families) deal with the anxiety 
and the stress of a possible "non-confi- 
dence" vote. 

Area conference minister. The 
roles of district or provincial confer- 
ence ministers vary greatly. I have my 
own idealized image of what I see as 
the perfect conference minister. It is a 
person with pastoral experience, 
known and trusted by congregations 
and pastoral leadership of the area, 
skilled in interpersonal relations, 
trained in peacemaking (conciliation). 
The person has a gift for intimate 
sharing and burden bearing with lead- 
ership people: respected but not an 
authority figure, competent but not 
controlling, warmly evangelical and 

It is a person who is free and wel- 
come to move in and out of the local 
congregation. An outsider who is "in" 
on all that really matters. One able to 
counsel but refusing to take over. One 
ready to stand alongside the pastor to 
defend as well as to confront. One 
ready to suffer with as well as to 

Self-images of the pastor. Arnold 
Nickel, pastor and conference leader 
who died suddenly in 1972, did an 
extensive study on the General Confer- 
ence pastor entitled Self-images of the 
Pastor. It was designed "to let the 
pastor speak." He writes, "The Cana- 
dian pastor, once the unchallenged 
symbol of the divine presence in each 
Mennonite community, is experiencing 

a sense of crisis in his self-image. The 
minister is not certain who he is, what 
his function should be or how he 
should relate to other people in the 
helping professions" (p. 122). 

"In the United States there is a vital 
interest among ministers to be open to 
God's direction, to support an active 
lay participation and to engage in 
team ministry. The tensions within 
ministers concerning their self-image 
have produced a new concept of the 
professional ministry. Pastors are com- 
ing to grips with their own integrity, 
with their own discoveries of what 
they ought to be doing and with their 
own opportunities of harbingers of 
change. Pastors are seeing the need to 
share with each other as professionals 
and to participate in team ministries. 
They are also seeking the deeper 
sources of faith and fellowship with lay 
leaders for remaking their self- 
images" (p. 102). 

In 1984 I heard a pastor describing 
himself, "A pastor is no different from 
any other Christian and as such 
should neither be exalted nor ignored. 

The pastoral authority lies not in the 
office itself but in the integrity of the 
pastor's witness, his lifestyle, his open- 
ness to others and his continuing de- 
sire for personal Christian growth and 
transformation guided by God's 
Spirit." Another pastor states his view 
of the pastor's role, "I see myself as 
one who is a Christ-centered person, a 
prayerful person, a person of integrity 
who seeks to speak the truth of Christ 
openly in a spirit of love and concern, 
and who seeks to practice what I 
preach. (And when I don't, I keep on 
preaching in the hope that I will in- 
creasingly convert myself.) I see myself 
as a relational person, a good commu- 
nicator, a good teacher, an accepting 
and affirming person." 

A statement prepared in 1982 by 
Mennonite Biblical Seminary and 
Ministerial Leadership Services in- 
cluded the following statement under 
the heading Implications for this Lead- 
ership Pattern for Leadership Today: 
"It is the task of the church's servants 
with their various ministries to con- 
front people with the healing power of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, to call forth a 
commitment to this One as the master, 
to nurture these and the growth and 
knowledge of Christ (to full maturity 
in Christ), to experience Christian 
community and to ready these for wit- 
ness and service in the world." 

The local congregation carries heavy 
responsibility in shaping the pastor's 
self-image. After observing how 
churches affect pastoral leadership, it 
is obvious that some churches are 
strongly affirming, bringing out the 
best in their members and their lead- 
ership. Others are critical and destruc- 
tive, especially under pressure. 

The aging ministry. I am now 65. 
Pastors 10 years younger and older 
than I have carried the major leader- 
ship load of the last 20-30 years. The 
'60s and early '70s did not attract our 
youth into church vocations. We now 
have a limited supply of experienced 
pastors in the 35-45 age range. Con- 
gregations have the option of asking 
an aging pastor to continue serving. 
They may also ask a much younger 
and less-experienced person than has 
been their pattern. Some may call an 
experienced pastor from another 

The Mennonite (ISSN 0025-9330) seeks to witness, teach, motivate and build the Christian fellowship within the context of Christian love and freedom under the guidance of the 
Scriptures and the Holy Spirit It is published semimonthly by the General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS67114. Subscription rates: one year, 
$14.50 U.S., $16.50 Canada; two years, $26 U.S., $29 Canada; three years, $35 U.S., $39 Canada. Foreign subscriptions add 50 cents per year to U.S. rate. Second class postage 
paid at Newton, KS, and additional mailing offices. Printed in U.S.A. POSTMASTER: Send Form 3579 to The Mennonite, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 

52 FEBRUARY, 1986 

ral Conference 

Some churches bring out the best in their leaders; 
a few seem to specialize in being critical and 

church background. Pastors over 65 
may be qualified and willing to accept 
the call. 

I am optimistic as I see young pas- 
tors assuming heavy responsibility 
Many seminary students are in their 
30s and give mature leadership even 
though they are in their first leader- 
ship role. 

Pastors alive and well. Any pas- 
tor's personal growth and professional 
development needs higher priority. 
College and seminary education plus 
on-the-job study is not adequate for a 
lifetime career in ministry. Rapid 
changes plus increased sophistication 
and expectations of the churches de- 
mand major blocks of time for personal 
spiritual growth and professional 

Much is being said about burnout, 
pastoral fatigue and congregational 
disaffection with the pastor. In many 
instances the pastor is simply ex- 
hausted. Sermons lack newness and 
relevance. Study is short-range, under 
pressure for next Sunday's sermon. 
Appointments increase. Activities ac- 
celerate. Busyness becomes more visi- 
ble as the inner strength fades and the 
well of inspiration runs dry. 

It's partly a question of time man- 
agement. It has been said the manage- 
ment of time and energy is as essen- 
tial to the pastoral ministry as 
preaching and teaching. Ralph Lebold 
states, "It is my view that many pas- 
tors move or quit because they are 
empty and despairing, because they 
have quit growing." 

What is now being done. (1) Every 
district and province now has a staff 
person known as conference minister. 
In 1975, only two areas had such re- 
gional leadership. (2) Pastoral changes 
are carried out in consultation with 
the area conference minister. Candi- 
dates are interviewed by a ministerial 
committee before the church extends a 
call. (3) Congregational profiles are 
prepared by churches seeking pastors. 

4. Pastoral installations, licensing 
and ordination are initiated by the 
local church in consultation with the 
conference minister and the area min- 
isterial committee. (5) Job descriptions 
and memos of understanding are com- 
mon in our churches. (6) Pastor sala- 
ries and benefits are developed along 
guidelines and recommendations by 
conference bodies. 

7. Pastor /congregational review is 
carried out by church leadership. Rec- 
ommendation is then brought to the 
congregation for the pastor to continue 
or terminate with affirmation from the 
congregation rather than a yes-or-no 
vote on a pastoral term of service. The 
focus is on dialogue rather than on 
secret ballot. (8) The average length of 
pastoral service in a given congrega- 
tion has increased significantly. At the 
same time we continue to terminate 
pastors abruptly and sometimes in 
hurtful and un-Christian ways. (9) 
Pastors' continuing personal growth 
and professional development is taken 
seriously by district/provincial leader- 

10. The most dramatic development 
in the past decade has been the emerg- 
ing role of women in the pastoral 

11. Pastors work more intentionally 
in reaching out to each other for sup- 
port in personal, family and profes- 
sional concerns. 

12. The average age of pastors enter- 
ing the ministry is higher than in the 
past. The average age of students at 
the seminary is early 30s. Many are 
married and have families. 

Future leadership needs in our 
churches. We need to be more inten- 
tional to affirm people for ministry. 
"All the ministers who will be in semi- 
nary in the year 2000 are currently 
alive and the church must compete 
more dramatically to identify people 
with quality gifts and graces for the 
turn of the century" (John Fletcher). 

Future leadership will be prepared 

increasingly by seminaries that will 
become microcosms of the world scene. 
Faculty will be fully involved in ad- 
dressing needs and challenges on the 
world scene. Spiritual formation will 
be restored as a central experience in 
the life and work of the seminary. 

The pastor's role and self-image will 
need more attention. Jim Glassy in- 
sisted 10 years ago, "We tend to re- 
cruit ministers through one kind of 
image, train them in the light of an- 
other kind and then require them to 
practice in terms of yet another kind." 

Increasingly, women and second- 
career people, many also women, will 
rise to prominence, not because of 
quotas but because of competence. 

Enlisting and training of ethnic pas- 
toral leadership will have to take 
higher priority. 

Ranier Maria Rilke wrote, "The 
future enters into us in order to trans- 
form itself in us long before it hap- 
pens." This is taking place in and 
among us today. 

Canadian and U.S. pastoral leaders 
need each other, both for inspiration 
and correction. 

Leaders from non-Mennonite back- 
grounds add a significant and neces- 
sary dimension to our denomination if 
chosen with care and good judgment. 
It is assumed that they be convinced 
or highly sympathetic to our Anabap- 
tist view of the church and our teach- 
ing on biblical non-resistance. 

Information explosion. John Nais- 
bitt in Megatrends sees "information 
explosion as one of 10 megatrends. . . . 
The real importance of the Russian 
Sputnik in 1957 was not space age but 
introducing the era of global satellite 
communications. . . . Today the space 
shuttle has a lot more to do with glob- 
alized information economy than it 
will ever have to do in our lifetime 
with space exploration. . . . The new 
source of power is not money in the 
hands of few but information in the 
hands of many." And, "We are drown- 
ing in information but starved for 
knowledge. . . . The shift is from sup- 
ply to selection." 

Pastors are suppliers of informa- 
tion—the Good News. They have the 
difficult and exciting role of "selec- 
tion." As church leaders we may as- 
sess the megatrends and preach and 
teach the information of Good News so 
that it is heard and not drowned in the 
information ocean. • 



Polishing the wisdom 

Marion Keeney Preheim 

If you attend General Conference tri- 
enniums, you must have heard Henry 
A. Fast speak. Typically he goes to the 
mike after many others have done so. 
What he says often pulls together 
their remarks and adds new insights. 
Participants often applaud and pass a 
well-worded motion. 

Fast showed his speaking ability 
early in life. He recited a piece in 
church when he was only five. How- 
ever, he was timid as a child and 
young man, especially when people 
called Mennonites "hayseeds." 

Somehow Fast developed a remark- 
able ability to be present when some- 
thing momentous was happening in 
the Mennonite world. He was a new 
Christian and Bethel College student 
when Mennonites began dealing with 
the World War I draft. 

"We got really excited as young stu- 
dents," Fast says. "We spent many 
bull sessions talking about how silly it 
was in our enlightened age to think 
we could solve things by destroying 

Drafted in May 1918, Fast was not 
allowed by the army to finish his last 
week as high school principal and 
math teacher in Whitewater, Kan. 

Fast went by train to Junction City, 
Kan., for induction into the army. He 
and the other conscientious objectors 
discussed soberly the question of when 
each would take a stand. "I decided I 
would declare myself the first time I 
could," Fast said. 

He did so, was given non-combatant 
status and assigned to a base hospital 
for seriously ill men. He began at the 
Fort Riley hospital, which soon had flu 
victims. Fast caught the flu from 

The war ended Nov. 11, 1918, but 
Fast was sent to a St. Louis hospital 
for patients with stomach and face 
injuries. His discharge came on 
June 17, 1919. 

Following training at Garrett and 
Witmarsum seminaries, he was asked 
to teach at Witmarsum in Bluffton, 
Ohio. There he met Ethel Schindler, a 
Bluffton College senior. They married 
in 1923. 

That year Bethel College Church, 
North Newton, Kan., called him— at 
age 29— to serve as pastor. As he made 
innovative suggestions, some ques- 

tioned the newer emphases he had 
found in seminary training. 

Fast pursued his interest in New 
Testament studies. He earned a Ph.D. 
at Hartford Biblical Seminary. His 
dissertation was published in 1959: 
Jesus and Human Conflict. 

After his graduation one church 
considered him but did not call him. 
"My pilgrimage was not a smooth 
road," says Fast. 

Instead he became the GC field sec- 
retary. He visited churches in North 
America, Brazil and Paraguay from 
1936 to 1939. Out of the visit to Para- 
guay came the conference's decision to 
start mission work there. 

He took part in another momentous 
peace effort due to the World War II 
conflict. Mennonite Central Committee 
asked him to go to Washington in 
1940, along with Quaker and Brethren 
representatives, to help negotiate bet- 
ter provisions for COs. Civilian Public 
Service resulted, with Fast as director 
until 1943. 

At the 1941 conference Fast was 
elected to the Emergency Relief Board 
(later the Board of Christian Service). 

Aware of Fast's ability to organize, 
the 1941 session also elected him to 
chair a committee to redo the confer- 
ence structure. He served through two 
major changes— in 1950 and 1960. 

A job change came in 1943 to chair 
the Bible and Christian education 
division of Bethel College. In class he 
primarily lectured, but he also guided 
students in their studies. He chal- 
lenged many to do voluntary service 
and to learn how the churcb deals 
with social and ethical issues. 

Besides his teaching, Fast handled 
alumni relations, foreign students' 

\ &5 

concerns, supply preachers for area 
Mennonites and college chapels. 

The college gave Fast a citation in 
1967 for his work with the chapel ser- 
vices, especially mentioning his 

The college encouraged the faculty to 
serve in the wider church. Fast served 
as MCC vice chairman from 1943 to 

1960 and helped launch PAX, an over- 
seas program for COs. MCC commis- 
sioned him for visits to South Amer- 
ica, Europe, Mexico and Russia. 

Fast served as director of European 
MCC services in Basel, Switzerland, 
from 1951 to 1953. Bethel released 
him to do this work. 

Because of some Mennonites' World 
War II experiences in mental hospi- 
tals, Fast thought MCC should set up 
some kind of organization to use the 
new ways they found for working with 
the mentally ill. His proposal resulted 
in MCC setting up Mennonite Mental 
Health Services and later opening a 
mental hospital. Fast served as MMHS 
board chairman from 1950 to 1966. 

He also chaired the GC Board of 
Christian Service for 18 years. After 
leaving his job at Bethel, he worked as 
executive secretary for the board from 

1961 to 1964, starting there at age 67. 
Following that position, he directed 

MCC Voluntary Service for one year. 
He then pastored the Eden Mennonite 
Church, Moundridge, Kan. 

During this time he was member-at- 
large on the GC Commission on Home 
Ministries, consultant and resource 
person on aging, member on the Inter- 
Mennonite Cooperative Council on 
Hospitals and Homes and member of 
CHM's peace and social concerns refer- 
ence council. 

One of Fast's main traits now is his 
sharp thinking. He keeps active with 
many things at home and at church. 
He works closely with the conference 
on peace work, such as that with non- 
registrants and the draft. All this in 
his 92nd year. 

Might we call Henry A. Fast a 
church patriarch? Yes. But more sim- 
ply, we could say he is polishing the 
wisdom he has acquired in a lifetime. 

Marion Keeney Preheim, 1112 Lorna 
Lane, Newton, KS 67114, is a free- 
lance writer. 

54 FEBRUARY 11, 1986 


Anguish is part of the symphony of grace 

Monty Ledford 

All Scripture is "God-breathed," and 
we need all of it. The Bible is like a 
symphony orchestra in which each 
instrument must be heard if the full 
symphony of God's grace and mercy is 
to be heard. 

Some books are like the piano and 
violin; there is little danger we will 
neglect them or their music. But other 
books are like the oboe or piccolo that 
we hear seldom but which provide an 
indispensable richness to the sym- 
phony of grace. 

To judge by the TV and Christian 
best-sellers, too much American piety 
falls into the circus calliope category 
or into the class of what a friend aptly 
calls the "Jesus is my girlfriend" song. 
I think we need more than ever the 
powerful and moving poetry of Lamen- 
tations to acclimatize our ears to the 
divine music that is played in the mi- 
nor key. 

A few weeks ago our congregation 
viewed "And When They Shall Ask," 
the wonderful film about the Russian 
Mennonites. I began to weep at the 
visible sorrow, anger and pain of the 
eyewitnesses. I value their honesty, 
and it touched a chord in my heart so 
that I thought, as most viewers proba- 
bly do, "What if my boy saw me and 
his mother shot dead? Who would take 
care of my children?" Perhaps the 
Russian Mennonites among us are the 
best qualified to understand Lamenta- 
tions, for the five poems which make 
up this book were also born out of an 
apparent security that collapsed into 
crushing defeat, bitter suffering and 

I guess we all know the story— more 
or less. The Jewish people divided into 
two often hostile nations after Solo- 
mon. Both nations descended into idol- 
atry and debauchery, with Israel slid- 
ing a little faster than Judah. Assyria 
wiped out Israel in 722 B.C., and Ju- 
dah limped along, weak, impoverished, 
but fondly telling themselves that 
"this is the temple of the Lord, the 
temple of the Lord, the temple of the 
Lord," and no enemy can destroy it 
(Jeremiah 7:4). 

A spectacular reform under Josiah 
reinforced the sense of security, but 
the nation was too far gone for God to 
hold back. In 586 B.C. the city and 
temple were destroyed, and the most 

important survivors were deported to 
Babylon, while the rest were left to 
starve in Palestine. The kings of the 
earth did not believe, nor did any of 
the world's people, that enemies and 
foes could enter the gates of Jerusa- 
lem. But it happened. 

Lamentations is the stunned, then 
angry, then exhausted reaction to this 

There are also some would-be Jo- 
siahs among American Christians who 
tell us revival is in the offing if we 
only execute more murderers, get 
prayer back into schools and outlaw 
pornography, while we continue to 
support oppressive governments, kill 
1.5 million babies per year and build 
up our machines of destruction. "This 
is the land of the free, the land of the 
free, the land of the free." 

Lamentations is unlike most Bible 
books in that its chapters were origi- 
nally part of the text. Each is a poem 
based on the Hebrew alphabet of 22 
letters. Chapters 1-4 begin each stanza 
with a successive letter of the alphabet 
(see notes in the NIV translation). 
Chapter 5 has 22 stanzas without the 
initial alphabetical sequence. 

Why does the poet structure his po- 
ems this way? I think there are two 
answers. One recalls the woman who 
suffered a terrible experience and car- 
ried it stoically until she was admit- 
ted, years later, to a hospital where 
she cried for days at a time. To a 
nurse, who tried to comfort her, she 
replied, "I'm paying for this time here 
and I'll cry if I want to." Terrible grief 
can be allowed to flow without totally 
destroying if the setting is right. Per- 
haps the strict alphabetical structure 
of these poems structures the raging 
grief enough to keep it from over- 
whelming the poet. Also, the use of all 
the letters of the alphabet may be 
showing that the whole range of hu- 
man anguish is made to pass by in 

I want to give you an assignment 
before my next article. Read Lamenta- 
tions in one sitting. Then, read it 
again and find as many parallels as 
you can with Deuteronomy 28. First in 
a series 

Monty Ledford is pastor of the North 
Park Mennonite Church, 647 Jesse 
Street N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49505. 



My testimony after college 

Trudy Voth 

Over half a year ago I graduated from 
Canadian Mennonite Bible College 
with a B.Th. degree. Meanwhile I have 
gotten married, set up house in Winni- 
peg and joined the full-time employ- 
ment ranks at CMBC as a secretary 
and bookstore manager. These months 
have brought much newness, excite- 
ment and fulfillment into my life, but 
also many challenges. One of these 
challenges is to identify the impact of 
my CMBC experience in my life. 

It is said that life often makes more 
sense in retrospect than when we are 
in the midst of the adventure. Six 
months after my graduation from 
CMBC I was still wondering about the 
purpose of my theological education, 
but an answer recently presented it- 
self. On Monday, Nov. 18, 1985, my 
husband, Don, and I became members 
of Douglas Mennonite Church. The 
procedure for this required a testimony 
from all candidates. For the first time 
since my teenage baptism I had to 
specify publicly what I believe. 

After a three-year theological pro- 
gram that opened up many perspec- 
tives on God, religion and Christianity, 
I had a far more difficult time stating 
my beliefs than when I was 15 and 
"believed everything in the Bible." At 
the same time, what I say now is a 
more deeply rooted conviction than the 
one I expressed earlier. That CMBC 
would strengthen my faith was some- 
thing I couldn't see during my studies. 

Throughout my CMBC years I strug- 
gled to find "absolutes" in a world 
that appeared to have none. In my 
Douglas Church testimony I was fi- 
nally able to pinpoint a number of 
points on which I base my faith. These 
points are absolute in the sense that I 
not only believe them to be true for 
me, but I consider them the heart of 
the gospel to be proclaimed to all of 

First of all, I believe the Bible to be 
the most perfect and complete litera- 
ture expressing God to people. Not the 
Koran or the Bhagavad Gita but the 
Holy Bible is my ultimate authority on 
matters of faith and spirituality. I do 
not falsify other religious scriptures, 
but I hold to the Bible as the most 
perfect expression of God to us. 

Secondly, I believe in a personal God 
manifested as Father, Son and Holy 

Spirit. In this trinitarian form, God is 
actively interested in and involved 
with humankind. As Father he is crea- 
tor and sustainer. As Son he is savior 
and Lord. As Holy Spirit he is guide 
and comforter. 

Thirdly, I believe in the church as 
the kingdom of God on earth, a fore- 
taste of what believers will experience 
in heaven. I believe in the necessity of 
many parts to this kingdom; each be- 
liever has an important function in the 

With these three statements of faith 
I clarify my purpose in life. It is to live 
according to God's will as expressed in 
the Bible. This means to live in rela- 
tion with God through forgiveness of 
sin and through prayer, to be a disciple 
of Christ in thought and deed, and to 
be filled with the Holy Spirit for the 
supernatural power required for 
Christlike living. My purpose in life is 
to "live in a manner worthy of the 
calling to which I was called." I am to 
draw people's attention to God by be- 
coming like Christ and helping to cre- 
ate the kingdom of God on earth. 

The interesting thing about this 
testimony is that I am stating virtu- 
ally the same beliefs I had before I 
came to CMBC. A B.Th. degree was 
not necessary to come to this conclu- 
sion. However, the studies toward my 

degree made me probe and test my 
original thesis, with the result that 
the thesis stands firm. The impact of 
my theological education rests not in 
my statement of faith but in the assur- 
ance of that statement. 

My B.Th. degree is for me a symbol 
of an educational experience of search- 
ing, confusion and doubting overcome 
by a return to a basic statement of 
faith. The intellectual insights of my 
learning clarified by understanding of 
the Bible, but the purpose of my de- 
gree appears not to be the spread of 
biblical, theological data. Too many 
academic facts I have already forgot- 
ten. Its purpose is to point me to the 
God beyond academia and help me 
point others to the same. 

Six months after my graduation from 
CMBC, as wife, homemaker and career 
woman, my B.Th. degree serves to 
strengthen my original faith in God, 
with the conviction that he can be 
reached in no other way but by faith. 
God is to be believed and experienced. 
This is the message of the Bible. On 
this I take my stand. 

Trudy Voth, 11-1055 Grant Ave., Win- 
nipeg, MB R3M 2 A3, is the bookstore 
manager and works as an overload 
secretary at Canadian Mennonite Bible 

"My B.Th. degree is for me a symbol of an educational experience of searching, confusion 
and doubting, overcome by a return to a basic statement of faith." 


FEBRUARY 11, 1986 


A Mennonite bicentennial 

Beverly Suderman 

How do Russian Mennonites play the 
Mennonite Game with Swiss Menno- 
nites? "Good . . . but that's not a Men- 
nonite name, is it?" "Your maiden 
name is Shantz— like Shanzenfeld, you 
say?" "Good . . . oh, like Merle Good 
from the States?" That's how the game 
is played when two segments of the 
Mennonite ethnic spectrum are intro- 
duced to one another. 

Reg and Kathy (Shantz) Good are 
two Mennonite Central Committee 
Canada volunteers who travel the 
length and breadth of Canada in cele- 
bration and anticipation of the 1986 
Mennonite Bicentennial. Under the 
direction of the Mennonite Bicenten- 
nial Commission and MCC Canada, 
they have been piloting their Menno- 
Van to small rural communities and 
urban centers, to northern Manitoba, 
eastern Nova Scotia— and points be- 
tween—and west to Alberta, Saskatch- 
ewan and British Columbia. On the 
road since September 1984, they will 
end their tour in June, with the Bicen- 
tennial Sunday celebrations in Kitch- 
ener-Waterloo, Ont., on July 6. 

Their program features a 20-minute 
audiovisual telling the story of the 
Mennonites from Reformation begin- 
nings to current involvements. An- 
other major component of their visits 
is the over 1,500 books on Mennonite 
history that they present to libraries 
and schools. 

For many western Canadians, the 
Mennonite bicentennial has been a 
mystery. The Canadian story of most 
Mennonites west of Ontario originates 
in the migrations of the 1940s, the 
1920s or the 1870s. Many western 
Mennonites still remember their cen- 
tennial festivities of 1974. A bicenten- 
nial celebration so soon after their 
100th? The origins of these 200-year- 
old Mennonites are fuzzy. When Reg 
asked the high school students of a 
Manitoba Mennonite educational insti- 
tute from where the first Mennonites 
to Canada had come, the self-assured 
reply was "Russia, of course." Then, 
"Germany?" And finally, tentatively, 
"Holland?" Upon hearing that it was 
the United States, the students were 
abashed. That the history of the Men- 
nonites in Canada began before 1874 
was for many of those students, as it is 
for many western Mennonites, a sur- 

prising fact. It is this type of education 
that Reg and Kathy identify as an 
integral part of their assignment. "We 
acquainted the Russian Mennonites 
with the larger Mennonite world," 
Kathy remarked, "but in the process 
we're also acquainting ourselves with 
Mennonites of other cultures." 

Both Reg and Kathy are of Swiss 
Mennonite background— "ethnic Men- 
nonites." Many of their presentations 
are for those who can also be consid- 
ered ethnically Mennonite. But at a 
program in Montreal, where Menno- 
nites of French, Hispanic and Anglo- 
Saxon extraction met, where the dia- 
logue of the audiovisual was translated 
into French with Spanish asides, they 
were told by those present that to be 
Mennonite meant neither borscht nor 
shoofly pie but faith. For those people, 
quiche or tortillas were as Mennonite 
as watermelon and rollkuchen; for 
them, the importance of being Menno- 
nite lay not in dress codes, languages 
or culinary habits but in a living and 
vital faith, a faith distinct and sepa- 
rate from that of others. 

The idea that all of us have impor- 
tant stories to tell and retell is signifi- 
cant to the concept of the Mennonite 
bicentennial. The stories vary from 
group to group: the Swiss, the Russian, 
the French-Canadian, Hispanic, Chi- 
nese and Native Mennonites all have 
their stories. And if for the Russian 
Mennonites part of the story is ex- 
pressed in playing the Mennonite 
Game, that too has validity. But Reg 
and Kathy also place an emphasis on 
acknowledging the broader story. The 
stories of the Canadian and U.S. Men- 
nonites have some significant differ- 
ences which need to be acknowledged 
and accepted. Part of their goal, say 
Reg and Kathy, is to cultivate a 
"healthy nationalism." U.S. Menno- 
nites may not be a direct part of the 
Mennonite bicentennial, but the lesson 
of varied but equally important stories 
is just as significant for them as for 
the Canadian Russian Mennonites. 

As might be expected, Reg and 
Kathy have many stories of their own 
to tell when it comes to life in the 
MennoVan and life on the road. There 
was the time when a woman dressed 
in her housecoat ran out of her home 
just as they were pulling out of a park- 

Kathy (Shantz) and Reg Good travel across 
Canada in the MennoVan to promote the 
bicentennial of Mennonites in Canada. 
Culmination of their work will take place 
July 6 at Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., in 
special Mennonite Bicentennial celebrations. 

ing lot. She had heard about the Men- 
nonites and didn't want them to es- 
cape before she had a chance to talk to 
them. Then there was the mother and 
her high school daughter who chased 
the MennoVan halfway across town 
and finally knocked on their door at a 
stop light. "Boy, am I glad to catch up 
with you," and the woman explained 
that ber daughter was doing a project 
on the Mennonites for school and she 
wanted some information. And there 
are those who deduce that the motor 
home, with its large green and white 
signs proclaiming it the "MennoVan," 
is some type of display on wheels and 
peer in tbrough the tinted windows 
only to discover Reg and Kathy having 
their morning coffee. 

The Goods have been pleased with 
the project to date. They believe that 
by July the Mennonites of western 
Canada will know that "Good" is in- 
deed a Mennonite name, and they will 
have learned yet another side to the 
Mennonite Game. 

Beverly Suderman works as an assis- 
tant to the archivist in the Mennonite 
Heritage Centre, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd., 
Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4. She wrote 
this report exclusively for The Menno- 


The Lutheran Church in America 

and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 
and four affiliated congregations have 
filed suit in Phoenix, Ariz., against the 
U.S. government. The suit seeks to 
challenge the limits of government in 
infiltrating worship services and other 
kinds of meetings. The infiltrations 
are said to have taken place while 
government agencies were probing for 
information related to church involve- 
ment in the sanctuary movement. 

"One can make a case for repressed 
and unhealthy sexuality being a major 
force in American culture," writes 
Steve Reschly, pastor at Cedar Com- 
munity Mennonite Church, in The 
Cedar Chest (January), the church's 
newsletter. "Some speak of 'missile 
envy' as one factor in the arms race— 
our missiles are bigger than their mis- 
siles. . . . Sex and violence belong to- 
gether in American life, in movies, 
books and crime patterns. One might 
question whether such obsession even 
qualifies as genuine sexuality, the 
final irony. Adam and Eve were both 
naked and not ashamed. We are na- 
ked, ashamed and very aggressive." 


Receipts exceed budget by $6 million 

MCC Canada had $2 million in bank that failed 

Vancouver— A 1985 budget oversub- 
scribed by almost $6 million and es- 
tablishment of two major new Cana- 
dian programs highlighted the 
Mennonite Central Committee Canada 
annual board meetings here Jan. 16-18. 

Because the MCC Canada fiscal year 
runs Nov. 1 to Oct. 31, the 1985 re- 
ceipts included the special attention to 
Ethiopia, much of which happened in 
the last months of 1984. This was cred- 
ited for the constituency giving to 
MCC $2 million more than what had 
been budgeted. Half of this was to the 
Foodgrains Bank, which earned extra 
matching government funds. Thus the 
$15.5 million budget ended up in ac- 
tual receipts of $21.5 million. 

Since 1985 saw the collapse of Cana- 
da's Northlands Bank, many people 
were eager to hear how it affected 
MCC Canada. The board reported hav- 
ing over $2 million on deposit in the 
bank when it folded. But the Canadian 
government has assured investors that 
they will be reimbursed. 

A survey about mental health needs, 
done by a special committee, led to the 
establishment of Mennonite Mental 
Health Services Canada, counterpart 
to the MMHS program several decades 
old being operated by MCC. This year 
MCC Canada still sends $33,000 to 
Akron in support of the larger MMHS. 
Hopes are that by 1987 MMHS Can- 
ada (not necessarily its final name) 
will have its own staff and program. 

Another major new program ap- 
proved to begin as soon as possible was 
titled "Christian Service Education." 
Long-range plans call for an MCCC 
staff coordinator who will relate to 
Mennonite colleges for engagement of 
staff to give major time in training 
students for "service" work such as 
MCC does. 

Rod Sawatzky, interim president of 
Conrad Grebel College, said they 
might be ready to act on this proposal 
as early as this fall. 

The Mennonite press took a little 
heat at this meeting. Mennonite Re- 

Chinese Church members serve food. 

porter was referred to as misinterpret- 
ing the Ottawa office report to the War 
Crimes Commission. Mennonite Breth- 
ren Herald was cited as being unfair 
in comments about the process of the 
new MCC building plans. 

A new $1.35 million building in 
Winnipeg is to be ready by this sum- 
mer. It will be owned 50-50 by MCC 
Manitoba and MCC Canada. The MB 
Herald had raised questions about its 
being built in the suburbs instead of 
in the urban core area. 

Other board actions at Vancouver 
included (1) Since the world refugee 
count continues as high as ever (10 
million), the MCCC staff was urged to 
promote more sponsorships in Menno- 
nite churches. (2) Since provincial 
MCCs are taking more initiative in 
work with disabled people, the MCC 
Canada handicap awareness staff and 
program were terminated. (3) A 1986 
budget of $16.5 million was adopted. 

Ray Brubacher, Elmira, Ont., was 
elected as the new vice chairman of 
MCCC. Bernie Wiebe 

Moderators/secretaries agree on major consultation 

Vancouver— Following two special inter-Mennonite consultations— Leamington 
in January 1985 on a "common strategy for church planting" and Winnipeg 
in September 1985 on peace, evangelism and church planting— Canadian 
Mennonite and Brethren in Christ moderators and secretaries called for a 
"planning consultation" about future direction in these discussions. 

This planning meeting was held in Vancouver Jan. 16, prior to the annual 
MCC Canada meetings. Agreement was reached to hold a major consultation 
in connection with the 1987 MCC Canada meetings. On the agenda will be 
four themes: (1) "Authority and Interpretation of the Bible," (2) "Conversion 
and Salvation," (3) "The Church and Mission," (4) "Unity." Bernie Wiebe 


FEBRUARY 11, 1986 

In Touch is the name of the new 
eight-page quarterly describing the 
work of the General Conference Men- 
nonite Church to its constituency. 
Edited by Muriel Thiessen Stackley, 
the first issue was mailed in late No- 
vember 1985 to 33,000 homes, most of 
which do not receive The Mennonite, 
Der Bote or Mennonite Reporter. In 
Touch seeks to strengthen the identity 
of the General Conference, inviting 
readers to become involved in its min- 
istry. It reports the work of the confer- 
ence's commissions and seminary. The 
second issue is to be mailed in late 

An MCC Canada shipment of 400 

metric tonnes of flour left Vancouver 
early in November 1985 bound for 
Vietnam. The flour was designated for 
Binh Tri Thien province, where cold 
weather at the time of blossoming 
reduced the 1984-85 rice crop by an 
estimated 70 percent. Louise Buhler, 
MCC's representative to Vietnam, was 
surprised at the difficult food situation 
in the area during a visit in May 1985 
and recommended that MCC provide 
food aid. 

Mennonites in East Germany met at 

a Pentecostal church in East Berlin in 
October 1985 for a first-ever nation- 
wide "Gemeindetag" or "church day" 
celebration. Fifty-five people came 
from all parts of the German Demo- 
cratic Republic (East Germany) for 
weekend sessions focusing on "Menno- 
nite World Conference in Strasbourg— 
And What Next?" 

Presbyterian-Mennonite Shalom Conference: We are not alone 

Mt. Pleasant, Pa. (MCC U.S.)-Can a 
church that baptizes babies and has 
supported almost every war in its his- 
tory become a peace church by the 
year 2000? Can a church that is be- 
coming urbanized and wealthy con- 
tinue to be faithful to its peace 

The former dream for the Presbyte- 
rian Church was uttered by Bruce 
Rigdon, Presbyterian speaker at the 
Presbyterian-Mennonite Shalom Con- 
ference at Laurelville Mennonite 
Church Center here Jan. 10-12. The 
latter concern was implied by J. Law- 
rence Burkholder, Mennonite speaker 
at the same conference. 

Planned by a joint committee and 
attended by Presbyterians and Menno- 
nites in roughly equal numbers, the 
conference, with 200 participants, gen- 
erated no sharp debates or barbed 
questions. The atmosphere was more 
like a family reunion. It seemed that 
each side was encouraged by the pres- 
ence and conviction of the other. And 
the nuclear threat brooded over all. 

In his keynote address, "The New 
Testament Basis for Peacemaking," 
Ulrich Mauser of Pittsburgh Theologi- 
cal Seminary demonstrated from Luke 
and Matthew that the New Testament 
message is one of peace. The real Mes- 
siah is diametrically opposed to a 
kingdom that rules by force. 

History followed Bible study. J. Law- 
rence Burkholder of Goshen (Ind.) Col- 
lege reviewed Anabaptist-Mennonite 
approaches to peacemaking and Bruce 
Rigdon of McCormick Theological 
Seminary in Chicago spoke of Calvin- 
ist-Presbyterian approaches. 

Burkholder reported what is familiar 
to Mennonites— that it was an Anabap- 
tist conviction that Christians should 
not use the sword and that the church 
should be free. The church should de- 
fine its own life without interference 

J. Lawrence Burkholder, Mennonite educa- 
tor, left, and V. Bruce Rigdon, Presbyterian 

theologian, were key speakers at the 
Presbyterian-Mennonite Shalom Conference. 

from the state. Only the regenerate 
should belong to the church. "Their 
demands seemed utterly unrealistic, 
idealistic. What do you do when the 
Turks are at the door?" 

Burkholder told of Anabaptist perse- 
cution. He noted that the story of Dirk 
Willems, who saved his pursuer and 
thus lost his life, has been impressed 
on Mennonite consciousness. Menno- 
nites during most of their history have 
been a minority people asking the 
minority's questions, such as, "What 
shall we do?" In contrast, majority 
churches ask "What is good for the 

Rigdon's presentation emphasized 
theology more than ethics. What can 
you say about peace when you are not 
a peace church? He observed that John 
Calvin admired the high standards of 
the Anabaptist communities but was 
afraid of their emphasis on free will as 
opposed to his concern for the sover- 
eignty of God. 

He outlined five characteristics of 
the Calvinist tradition: (1) listening to 
the Word of God, (2) experiencing the 
Word made visible in the sacraments, 
(3) confession writing, (4) disciplined 
living in conformity to the confession 
and (5) clergy and laity ruling the 

church together. 

Rigdon brought another contribution 
to the conference. He has repeatedly 
visited Christians in the Soviet Union. 
He reported on the vigor of the church 
in the Soviet Union and how Soviet 
Christians spend hours and hours in 
corporate worship. He said that in 
1988 the Russian Orthodox Church 
will celebrate its 1,000th anniversary 
and observed that there are as many 
as 100 million baptized Christians in 
the Soviet Union compared to 18.75 
million members of the Communist 

In the Soviet Union, he said, no one 
would join the church casually, for 
there is no social advantage for doing 
so. Americans sometimes ask about 
Christian witnessing in the Soviet 
Union. "The very act of going to 
church is an act of public witness. To 
dare to live the Christian life is a pow- 
erful witness." 

The conference also featured eight 
seminars and the drama "Alice in 
Blunderland," put on by Legacy, a 
drama group from eastern Ohio. The 
message of the drama was that the 
world is in danger but it is not too late 
to do something about it. 

On Sunday morning the conference 
ended with a sermon by David Shenk 
of Eastern Mennonite Board of Mis- 
sions in Salunga, Pa., followed by a 
communion service. 

Peter Dutton, a Presbyterian teen- 
ager, was impressed by the Mennonite 
anti-war position. He implied that he 
had never seriously considered this 
option before. 

Elroy Kauffman, a Mennonite from 
Harrisonburg, Va., was encouraged by 
the news about Christians in the So- 
viet Union. He saw it as an appropri- 
ate antidote to the jingoism we are 
sometimes fed in the name of conserv- 
ative Christianity. Daniel Hertzler 


Our Mennonite Legacy is the new 

title of a slide presentation produced 
by Jan Gleysteen. Formerly called 
"Faith of Our Fathers," the set tells 
the story of the Anabaptists and their 
descendants, the Mennonites, over the 
centuries. The presentation has been 
seen by thousands over the past 16 

A Christian children's home in 

Chad, whose resources have been 
stretched to the limit by Africa's 
drought crisis, is the beneficiary of 
$4,285 (U.S.) from 1984's Mennonite 
World Conference offering in Stras- 
bourg, France. European Mennonite 
workers have long been a part of the 
staff of the children's home at Abeche, 
run by the Sudan United Mission for 
homeless and orphaned youngsters 
from infancy to about age 12. In addi- 
tion, relief and peace funds have gone 
to European Mennonite Peace Commit- 
tee and the International Mennonite 
Peace Committee. 

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter 
and his wife, Rosalyn, met recently 
with North American Mennonites 
working in Nepal with United Mission 
to Nepal. The Carters visited Nepal for 
several weeks during a vacation. The 
meeting resulted from separate re- 
quests by UMN officials and Menno- 
nite Board of Missions workers Mark 
and Darlene Keller and Russel and 
Marjorie Liechty. Mark Keller wrote, 
"The Carters impressed us as being 
very warm and open. They spoke of 
contacts with Mennonites in North 
America. They were very interested in 
the work of UMN and the church situ- 
ation in Nepal." 

Sixty-five young adults attend Break '85 

Mt. Pleasant, Pa. (MBM)— Super, mar- 
velous, topnotch, challenging, thought- 
provoking and encouraging are just 
some of the words participants used to 
describe Break '85. Sixty -five young 
adults gathered at Laurelville Menno- 
nite Church Center here Dec. 27-30, 
1985, for a retreat sponsored by Stu- 
dent and Young Adult Services of the 
Mennonite Church and the Commis- 
sion on Education of the General 

Reasons for attending varied. One 
young woman said it was "because of 
the topic and my desire to fellowship 
with other Christian youth." Others 
felt the need to be with people who 
also experience a tension between 
spirituality and social action and 
wanted the opportunity to struggle 
together with fellow Christians. 

Of the 65 participants, 34 were from 
Canada. Forty-four were college or 
university students. Participants came 
from 54 Mennonite Church congrega- 
tions, five General Conference congre- 
gations and six dual-conference congre- 

The theme of the post-Christmas 
event, God = Peace 2 , focused on the 
integration of outer peace in the world 
with inner peace of the heart. Patty 
Shelly, an assistant professor at Bethel 
College, North Newton, Kan., led the 
worship times. Ivan Emke, a graduate 
student at Carlton University in Ot- 
tawa, was emcee/host. 

Pastor needed 

Pastor needed for Superb Mennonite Church. 

Membership 55. 

For more information send inquiries to: 
Rudy Wiebe 
Box 623 

Kerrobert, SK SOL 1R0. 

Ivan Emke, Break '85 emcee/host, leads 
participants in an activity. 

The featured speaker was LeRoy 
Friesen, director of peace studies at 
Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, Elkhart, Ind. In speaking 
about inner peace, Friesen noted that 
those who live in two of the most tech- 
nologically advanced countries (the 
United States and Canada) are in 
many respects empty people. "There is 
a hole inside us. A hole that doesn't 
get filled by all the opportunities we 
have," he said. 

"Advertising and the media try to 
convince us that their company's prod- 
uct will fill that hole. But the good 
news is that the biblical story tells us 

Research interns needed 

Three positions assisting FCNL's lobbyists with 
legislative work. These are 11 -month paid 
assignments beginning Sept. 1, 1986. Duties 
include research, writing, monitoring issues, 
attending hearings and coalition meetings, 
maintaining clipping and issue files. Applica- 
tions close March 15. 

For information write or call: 
Friends Committee on National Legislation 
245 Second St. NE 
Washington, DC 20002 
(202) 547-6000. 

that the hole is God-shaped," Friesen 
proclaimed, adding that "we won't be 
fulfilled until we experience the one 
for whom we hunger." He also spoke 
about the threat of death we experi- 
ence as we live under the cloud of the 
bomb, challenging participants to look 
for good news in the situation of life as 
it is now. 

Opportunity was given for small 
group discussion and feedback on 
Friesen's input on Saturday and after 
other sessions throughout the week- 
end. Other activities during the week- 
end included worship, recreation, 
informal discussions and fellowship, 
and a talent show. 

The closing session Monday morning 
became a time for commitment to new 
steps of faith and a sharing of reflec- 
tions on the weekend. Friesen re- 
minded participants that God is the 
first peacemaker. Wherever the "gates 
of hell" are— in Washington, Ottawa or 
Moscow— they will not prevent the 
kingdom of God from blossoming in all 
of its fullness, and we are all invited 
to be a part of what God is doing. He 
also challenged everyone to look for joy 
in all of life, even in suffering, and not 
only in brief, isolated times of celebra- 

In response to questions concerning 
the weekend together, one participant 
said that the small size of the group 
made it "feel a bit like a family." As 
people thought and dialogued together 
about timely, important questions and 
issues, bonds were formed and support 
was found. Though participants repre- 
sented a diversity of backgrounds and 
views, many discovered in a new and 
exciting way what it means to struggle 
together on issues of faith and life. 

Based on the positive response to 
Break '85, planners have tentatively 
scheduled Break '86 for Dec. 27-30, 
1986, at Laurelville. Sharon Speigle 


FEBRUARY 11, 1986 

About a year ago, Mennonite Central 
Committee established a task force to 
study how MCC should respond to 
employees' requests that MCC not 
withhold federal taxes from their pay- 
checks. This was to enable them to 
keep that portion of their taxes used 
for military purposes. After meeting 
with leaders from eight conferences, 
the task force reported in December 
1985 that none of the conference 
groups was in favor of honoring the 
employees' requests. Even though the 
General Conference honors such re- 
quests by its employees, the executive 
committee of its General Board did not 
favor MCC taking similar action. 

Peter and Sue Martens Kehler of 

Abbotsford, B.C., are leading a Gen- 
eral Conference Asia Missions Tour 
April 17-May 6. Participants will visit 
Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and 
China to become acquainted with mis- 
sions and missionaries. The Kehlers 
are former missionaries in Taiwan. 
Interested people may contact them at 
Box 867, Sumas, WA 98285, (604) 859- 

As reported in the New Republic, in 
a recent BBC interview, President 
Reagan remarked, "I'm no linguist, 
but I have been told that in the Rus- 
sian language there isn't even a word 
for freedom." (The Russian word for 
freedom is svobada.) 

Mennonite Service Venture launched 

Elkhart, Ind., and Newton, Kan. 
(MBM/GCMC)— A new program offer- 
ing short-term service projects for 
youth and young adults has been cre- 
ated by Mennonite Board of Missions 
(Mennonite Church) and the Commis- 
sion on Education (General Conference 
Mennonite Church). 

Mennonite Service Venture is a two- 
pronged program. Group Venture, 
which provides service projects for 
youth and young adult groups, is ad- 
ministered by Jane Miller, coordinator 
of Short-Term Programs in the Volun- 
tary Service department of MBM. 
Youth Venture refers to the ongoing 
work camp program administered by 
Paula Diller Lehman from COE. MC 
and GC volunteers can participate in 
either venture. 

Mennonite Service Venture has a 
threefold purpose: (1) to offer service 
and learning experience for youth and 
young adults; (2) to foster greater in- 
terest among youth in church-related 
service; and (3) to provide volunteer 
help for existing service programs and 

In Group Venture, Miller explained, 
youth or young adult groups partici- 
pate in a service and learning project 
that lasts from a weekend to two 
weeks. Groups are especially needed 
during June, July and August. 

The group pays for transportation 
and food as part of Group Venture. The 
sponsoring group provides housing, 
work schedules and coordination. 

Youth Venture, according to Lehman, 
is a one- to three-week experience for 

New! Guaranteed rate of 
return on MMA's IRA*. 

Returns on each deposit guaranteed for one year. After that, 
rates set each quarter, based on how investments perform. 

A guaranteed rate of return. If you're under age 70 and 
earning an income, a way to plan now for retirement needs. 
A way to practice stewardship and share with others, too. 

It's all part of MMA's new 
IRA. To find out more, 
call 800-348-7468, toll 
free. If you're in Indiana, 
call (219)533-9511 collect. 

"Individual Retirement Annuity 

Mutual Aid 

individuals ages 14-18 from mid-June 
through August. A variety of projects 
are possible, from working with chil- 
dren or physically handicapped adults 
to construction and building cleanup. 

Participants pay $50-100 for lodging, 
meals and insurance. 

Miller and Lehman are interested in 
identifying additional project locations 
and on-site coordinators. Brochures, 
posters and a list of project locations 
are also available. Contact Miller at 
MBM, Box 370, Elkhart, IN 46515- 
0370, (219) 294-7523, or Lehman at 
COE, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114- 
0347, (316) 283-5100. Phil Richard 


Camp director and counselors for Rosthern 
Youth Farm Bible Camp. Camp dates— June 
20-Aug. 22. 

Apply before Feb. 17 to: 

James and Lois Nickel 
Camp coordinators 
1027-425 115 St. E 
Saskatoon, SK S7N 2E5 


Rosthern Youth Farm Bible Camp 
Box 370 

Rosthern, SK S0K 3R0. 

Principal needed 

The executive committee of Freeman 
Academy, an inter-Mennonite junior-senior high 
school in Freeman, S.D., is seeking applicants 
for the position of principal. This position, 
including responsibilities as chief executive 
officer, opens July 1 . 

For further details contact: 
LaVerne Graber 

Chairman of the Board of Directors 
Route 2 
Box 187 

Freeman, SD 57029 
(605) 925-7782. 


Mediation Services of Winnipeg by 
Sept. 30, 1985, had experienced a 50 
percent increase in the number of 
criminal court diversion referrals re- 
ceived over the same period in 1984, 
from 194 to 291. Mediation Services 
has a staff equivalent of five people 
and 30-35 trained volunteers. The 
program is funded almost entirely by 
Mennonite Central Committee Mani- 
toba and its constituent churches. 

Elkhart, Ind. (AIMM)— A border dis- 
pute between the West African nations 
of Mali and Burkina Faso interrupted 
Christmas gatherings of missionaries 
in the region. Workers with Africa 
Inter-Mennonite Mission had gathered 
at the Dennis and Jeanne Rempel 
home in Orodara, a Burkina Faso town 
35 miles from the Mali border. 

On Dec. 26, 1985, reports were re- 
ceived in Orodara that armored vehi- 
cles from Mali had crossed the border 
and reached Koloko along the Orodara 
road meeting with limited resistance 
from the inadequately equipped 
Burkina forces in the area. A mass 
exodus of people from Orodara ensued 
as many tried to reach the interior city 
of Bobo Djoulasso. Others fled into the 
bush of the countryside. 

The AIMM team met to pray and 
decided to remain in the area since 
several people from the local church 
asked to stay with the missionaries. 
The church includes Mali citizens re- 
siding in Orodara as well as local 
Burkina citizens. 

Missionary Dennis Rempel wrote, 
"As night fell the missionary team 
came to sleep in our yard along with 
our church brethren and some neigh- 
bors. We shared finger foods, rice and 
sauce. Prior to darkness several signs 
were put up on the gates and walls to 
identify our house to invaders as well 
as Burkina soldiers, and we waited. 

"Around 7:30 p.m. we received fur- 
ther news that a group of Burkina 
commandos had ambushed the Malian 
troops and sent the Malians fleeing 
back to Mali." 

Missionaries and their families slept 
on mattresses out of doors as a precau- 
tion against a possible bombing at- 
tack. At 11:30 p.m. a pounding on the 
gate aroused the group. A neighbor 
and a police officer advised evacuation 
since the large number of casualties 

Amadeu and Ivonetpe Coimbra 

inflicted on the Mali troops was ex- 
pected to provoke a counterattack. 
They walked four miles to a friend's 

Finally, at 3 a.m. the Malian presi- 
dent signed a third cease-fire, after the 
first two had not held. The truce is 
being maintained by a peacekeeping 
force of the Organization of African 

Missionaries returned to Orodara the 
next day. But with the military still in 
high profile, they decided to repack 
and spend two more nights out of town 
on a parcel of land used for agricul- 
tural development. The Rempels re- 
turned safely to their residence in 
Orodara on Dec. 31, and the rest of the 
mission team returned to their respec- 
tive villages without further incident. 

The border dispute reportedly was 
prompted by a pre-Christmas census 
conducted by the Burkina Faso govern- 
ment. When census takers entered 
villages along the northern border in 
disputed territory, the Mali govern- 
ment reacted with military action. The 
resulting clashes including limited air 
raids spread southward along the bor- 
der. An air raid over Sikasso in Mali 
was said to have prompted the Mali 
armored troop movement into Burkina 
Faso along the Sikasso to Bobo road, 
which passes through Orodara. 

Help needed 

Swift Current Bible Institute is now receiving 
applications for the following positions: 
principal, beginning in June, 
administrative assistant, beginning in May, 
teachers, beginning in September. 

Please send all applications and inquiries to: 

Attention: Personnel Committee 
Box 1268 

Swift Current, SK S9H 3X4. 

"I feel tremendous happiness to see 
God completing his work here through 
Amadeu Coimbra," said Gary Loewen, 
Commission on Overseas Mission 
worker in Brazil, at the close of the 
Nov. 24, 1985, ordination service for 
Amadeu. When Loewen first met him 
in 1981, Amadeu had not been inside 
a church for seven years and felt nega- 
tively about the church. His wife, 
Ivonetpe, was involved in a ladies Bi- 
ble study, which provided a door of 
friendship. Later Amadeu made a 
Christian commitment, then became 
an eager student under Loewen. 

Educational oppor- 
tunities in India 
are wide open 

Newton, Kan. (GCMC)-"Unlimited" is 
the adjective used by Kenneth G. Bau- 
man regarding opportunities for educa- 
tion in India. Upon return from a five- 
month visit to the subcontinent, he 
reports that "education is in great 
demand. All of the mission-related 
schools are bulging at the walls. And 
the Christian community is considered 
the best dispenser of education in India 

Three high schools, one middle 
school and seven primary schools are 
part of the result of mission work be- 
gun by General Conference Menno- 
nites in 1900. Janzen Memorial High 
School in Jagdeeshpur is the oldest, 
operating now at full capacity with 
575 students. Almost all of the staff 
are Christian. Because of the support- 
ive Christian community, Bible classes 
can be taught at JMHS. "We can be 
thankful," states Bauman, "for this 
leadership training base." Most of the 
current pastors and church leaders are 
graduates of JMHS. 

In comparison, Jyoti High School in 
Korba (population 100,000) has had to 
stop teaching Bible because of nega- 
tive pressure from the community— 
non-Christian students complained 
about it at home. Principal N. R. Sona, 
however, has a course called "moral 
instruction" and gives spiritual leader- 
ship to the student body of 650. 

Many mission-connected schools are 
English-medium schools. Jyoti High 
School is an exception, as in the Hindi 
Primary School (also in Korba) with 
428 students. Away from this burgeon- 
ing urban center— in Champa, Surguja 
and Kharradard— are smaller schools. 

"We have trained leaders in India 
now," concludes Bauman. "The fruit of 
the mission work is apparent." 

Missionaries face African border conflict 


FEBRUARY 11, 1986 

Mennonite high school and college 
aged youth will discuss how to become 
active peacemakers at the eighth an- 
nual Peace it Together conference 
sponsored by Canadian Mennonite 
Bible College, Winnipeg, March 7-9. 
Arnold Snyder, former director of Wit- 
ness for Peace in Nicaragua, now direc- 
tor of the Peace and Conflict Institute 
at Conrad Grebel College, Waterloo, 
Ont., will be the main resource person. 
The weekend will also include work- 
shops and the feature film Missing. 
For more information contact Peace it 
Together, CMBC, 600 Shaftesbury 
Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4, (204) 



Helen Wells Quintela, St. Paul (Minn.) 
Fellowship, will be licensed Feb. 16 by 
the Northern District (GC) at Faith 
Church, Minneapolis. 

Andrew Shelly began serving as 
interim pastor at Emmaus Church, 
Whitewater, Kan., Jan. 1. 


Doug Dyck, First Church, Burns Lake, 
B.C., is serving as a General Confer- 
ence mission partner in Ethiopia from 
January to June. Working for Mission- 
ary Aviation Fellowship, he transports 
personnel and supplies for relief agen- 
cies, including Mennonite Central 

John Longhurst, River East Menno- 
nite Brethren Church, Winnipeg, be- 
gan a two-year Mennonite Voluntary 
Service term Sept. 1, 1985, on the 
Peace Center staff in Dallas, Texas. He 
received bachelor degrees in history 
and religious studies from the Univer- 
sity of Winnipeg. His parents are 
Clara and Edward Longhurst of St. 
Catharines, Ont. 

Kirsten Samuelson, Trinity Church 
of the Brethren, Redford, Mich., began 
a one-year MVS term on Jan. 13 as a 
senior visitation worker for Friendly 
Visitors Service in St. Catharines, 
Ont. Her parents are Corine and 
Philip Samuelson. 

Willard Swartley, professor of New 
Testament at Associated Mennonite 
Biblical Seminaries, Elkhart, Ind., will 
spend February through May teaching 
and preaching among Mennonites in 
Pennsylvania. This is a service-teach- 
ing leave from the seminaries. 

A workshop on "Congregations Help- 
ing Job Seekers" has been scheduled 
for March 17-18 at Camp Menno Ha- 
ven near Tiskilwa, 111. Topics will in- 
clude emotional responses to loss of 
farm or job, suggestions for supportive 
activities by congregations and ways to 
establish job search programs. Fred 
Litwiller, careers counselor at Goshen 
(Ind.) College, will be the principal 
resource person. For more information 
contact MCC U.S., Box M, Akron, PA 
17501, (717) 859-1151. 

The MCC Ontario Handicapped Min- 
istries Program is proclaiming the 
message "We are a disabled church." 
Handicapped Ministries will place a 
strong emphasis on facilitating and 
developing grass-root involvement in 
the local church. The program is ask- 
ing for 25 people to become a reference 
group that will provide a base for pro- 
vincial resource activity. 



a two-week course in 
Christian mission and 
international development 
with five study options: 
agriculture, education, health, 
general development, nutrition 

JUNE 1-13, 1986 

Harrisonburg, Va. 22801 
For details write or call: 
Dean's Office (703) 433-2771 


Mennonite Central Committee, Bethel College 
Eastern Mennonite College, Goshen College 


MCC BC executive director 

Applications are invited tor the position of 
executive director for MCC BC. 

— Position opens early 1986, appointment 
time flexible 

— Salary commensurate with MCC policy 

— a scriptural understanding that combines a 

word-and-deed expression; 
— proven administrative experience, with a 

service record desirable; 
— apt communication skills. 

Apply by Feb. 28 to: 
Personnel Committee, MCC BC 
Box 2038 

Clearbrook, BC V2T 3T8 
(604) 859-4141. 

Part-time pastor needed 

Philippi Mennonite Church, a small 
ministry-oriented fellowship in rural West 
Virginia, seeks a part-time pastor, effective 

Duties include sharing spiritual leadership, 
representing the church to the community, and 

Qualifications: seminary training preferred; 
biblical studies background acceptable. 
Housing and a small stipend provided; 
supplemental income will be necessary. 

For further information contact: 
Lois Harder 

Work: (304) 457-1700, ext. 240 
Home: (304) 457-2506 

Elvin Kreider 

Work: (304) 457-2800 

Home: (304) 457-2987. 

Administrator wanted 

The board of directors of Herbert Nursing 
Home Inc., owned and operated by the 
Conference of Mennonites of Saskatchewan, 
are seeking an administrator for this 54-bed, 
level 1 1 1 facility. Duties to commence 
tentatively April 1 . 

Applicant must be mature Christian whose faith 
would be in harmony with those of the owning 

Experience in long-term care would be an 
asset, preferably with some training in the field. 
The applicant should have an understanding of 
accounting principles and the budgetary 
process. Ability to communicate in both English 
and German is desirable. Starting salary is 

Deadline for applications is Feb. 20. Direct 
inquiries to (306) 784-2661. Applications with 
full resume should be submitted to: 

Albert Jahnke, chairman 

Herbert Nursing Home 

Box 520 

Herbert, SK S0H 2A0. 

Strong, Healthy, 
Happy Families 
Don't Just Happen 

John M. Drescher, Abraham and Dorothy 
Schmitt, and Sara WengerShenk offer 
encouragement and practical suggestions to 

And Then There Were Three 

by Sara Wenger Shenk 

Sara Wenger Shenk shares her own 
experiences as she speaks to parents 
who struggle to balance family 
concerns and professional pursuits. 
She shows that our most important 
goal should be to build strong 
relationships with God and other 
people rather than to strive for success 
through position, power, and money. 

"Here is a book that I am eager to 
recommend for its honest 
acknowledgment of uncertainty and 
pain along with the joys of 
mothering. I strongly recommend 
this book for parents who want to be 
responsible and joyful, but not 
overwhelmed by rules for proper 
parenting." — Dr. Ruth Detweiler 
Lesher, psychologist 

"This is a book of far more than 
personal experience. It is a carefully 
thought out theology of family and 
home .1 appreciated her stress 
on relationships, her sound 
exegetical work, and her affirmation 
and insistence that everything flows 
from a basic love relationship with 
God." — Festival Quarterly 
Paper, $8.95 

Renewing Family Life 

by Abraham and Dorothy Schmitt 

Crucial events in family life can be 
times of renewal and growth rather 
than times of disintegration. In 
down-to-earth language, using 
personal experiences and those 
drawn from counseling others, the 
Schmitts lead their readers to better 
understand these events and to 
respond redemptively in times of 
crisis. Paper, $5.95 

Herald Press 

Dept. MEN 

Scottdale.PA 15683 
Kitchener, ON N2G4M5 


-, fJ S>/" rlJ "' V 


I {9» < 

Seven Things Children Need 

by John M. Drescher 

John M. Drescher discusses seven of 
the most basic needs of the growing 
child in emotional and spiritual 
terms. A practical, personal, down- 
to-earth book for people who care 
about children as persons. 

"This book is a joy to read and we 
predict that many a parent will profit 
by it." — Evelyn M. and Sylvanus M. 
Duvall in the introduction. 
Paper, $2.95 

Ask for these and other Herald Press 
books at your local bookstore. If no 
bookstore is available, you may write 
to Herald Press. (Please add 10 
percent for postage and handling — 
minimum $1.00.) 

For more information or a free 
catalog, write to Herald Press. 


FEBRUARY 11, 1986 


Letter from MCC workers in El Salvador 

Dear North American Sisters and Brothers, 

On May 9, 1985, Mennonite Central 
Committee workers Susan Classen, 
Blake Ortman and a Salvadoran Cath- 
olic lay worker were picked up by the 
El Salvadoran Armed Forces and held 
captive for two days. Susan Classen, a 
health worker, was accused of teaching 
Marxist doctrine to the poor. Among 
the questions her interrogators asked 
were, "What was Lenin's first name? 
What is the difference between social- 
ism, Marxism, Leninism and commu- 
nism? Why do you teach the people 
about working together and building 
community in your Bible classes? Why 
don't you confine your work to govern- 
ment-controlled towns instead of going 
out to villages where there is more 

The MCC program in question works 
through Salvadoran churches to ad- 
dress basic health needs. Through it 
we organize parents to monitor the 
weight of their malnourished children, 
teach interested peasants how to pre- 
vent common diseases and help tuber- 
culosis patients receive treatment. 
MCC, along with various Salvadoran 
churches, works independently of both 
sides of the conflict. Why are we being 
labeled "communist" for working with 
the ones suffering most— the poor? 

God's only Son was born into pov- 
erty. Christ began his ministry by 
proclaiming, "The Spirit of the Lord is 
on me, because he has anointed me to 
preach good news to the poor. He has 
sent me to proclaim freedom for the 
prisoners and recovery of sight for the 
blind, to release the oppressed, to pro- 
claim the acceptable year of the Lord" 
(Luke 4:18-19 NIV). Threatened and 
denounced by the authorities, Jesus 
told those who followed him, "Blessed 
are you who are poor, for yours is the 
kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20 NIV). 
Christ was scorned, convicted and 
crucified as a criminal, "subversive" 
because his life and work threatened 
those who cared more for power than 
for people. 

Luis Miguel Lopez, a poor farmer, 
wonders whether he should move his 
family of five to a town controlled by 
the government's army or stay on his 
small piece of land in an area of the 
country where the guerrillas move 
freely. If he stays on his land, the mili- 
tary may suspect him of being sympa- 
thetic to the guerrillas; his land may 

be bombed or invaded. His family will 
have little or no access to health care, 
since schools and clinics in the coun- 
tryside have been closed. 

If the family moves to a town con- 
trolled by the army, they may not find 
a place to live in an already over- 
crowded area; there are likely to be 
shortages of water and cooking fuel, 
and the family will have to depend on 
handouts for food and other relief. Luis 
has never lived in a city and has little 
hope of finding work. If he and his 
family enter a government-controlled 
refugee camp, they risk losing what 
little dignity and autonomy their 
home and land provide. 

The work Luis has shared with an 
MCC health worker has helped him 
decide what to do. "I feel some kind of 
hope for my community," he says, 
"now that we have begun to learn 
about how to care for some of our 
health problems ourselves." Still, he 
has been stopped three times by gov- 
ernment soldiers. Because he was car- 
rying his health material, he has been 
detained and accused of being a com- 
munist. He later said, "One thing we 
know: when they persecute us, we can 
be sure we are following Christ be- 
cause he tells us, 'Happy are those 
who are persecuted in the cause of 
right, for theirs is the kingdom of 
God.' " 

In spite of government claims that 
the situation has improved, many 
churches we work with continue to be 
persecuted by the Salvadoran authori- 
ties. Within the past year a Lutheran 
pastor has been killed. A Baptist min- 
ister was arrested and exiled as a 
criminal. The Catholic archbishop and 
two other Protestant pastors are also 
living and working in the face of death 
threats. A high-level army colonel 

called another Protestant pastor and 
his co-workers, including MCC work- 
ers, communists. 

We as well as other churches have 
been advised by the U.S. Embassy that 
we will have no security problems if 
we cooperate with the Salvadoran mili- 
tary authorities. However, we have 
stated that as Christians we will help 
people based on their need, reject all 
forms of violence and work indepen- 
dently of either side in the conflict. 
Unfortunately, to remain independent 
is dangerous. Foreign relief workers 
are picked up, labeled communist and 
exiled. Salvadorans are picked up, 
labeled communist, tortured and often 
killed. How should we respond to a 
situation where those who try to work 
with the poor are labeled communists? 

Despite the difficulties, we are en- 
couraged by the hope of many Salva- 
doran Christians. They understand the 
meaning of Romans 5:3-4, "... but we 
also rejoice in our sufferings, because 
we know that suffering produces perse- 
verance; perseverance, character; and 
character, hope." 

We experience their life-giving hope 
by participating in their sufferings. 
God asks all of us to work together 
with him in the building of his king- 
dom. Two of the most practical and 
powerful things we can do are pray 
and witness. We ask you to pray for 
the Christians here, that they may 
have courage to work on behalf of the 
poor even in the face of being labeled 
communist and risking persecution. 
We ask you to witness by writing or 
calling your government representa- 
tives about what is taking place here 
in El Salvador. Thank you. Blake Ort- 
man, Maureen McKenzie, Susan Clas- 
sen, Nathan Barge, Elaine Zook Barge, 
Ron Flickinger, Marnetta Shetler 




Why would people leave the security of their 
homes and jobs to study at CMBC? Three of 
our students share why they came to CMBC. 

We felt that it was important to open ourselves to 

new challenges in our lifestyle and beliefs. CMBC 
is a setting where we can become better equipped 
in serving others in the community and in the 
church. We were attracted to CMBC by the high 
standard of education and by the quality of the 
professors. Residence life has also shown us the 
dynamics of community living and helped us to 
make close friendships. We are looking forward to 
a year of learning and growing. 

Byron and Kim Thiessen, first year students 

During my university years I was challenged by 

my contact with non-Christians and Christians 
from other denominations. I realized that there 
were many questions about life and Christianity 
that I had no answers for. CMBC is not giving me 
easy answers to my questions but they are en- 
couraging me to think seriously about my faith 
and what it means to be a true disciple of Christ. 
Some may consider my two years of study at 
CMBC as a waste of time and lost income, but the 
"learning for life" that is happening here will be 
infinitely valuable. 

Marion Klippenstein, graduating student 

CMBC has one, two and three bedroom apartments. Each suite has a complete kitchen and modest 

For those with children there is an outdoor play area and an inside rumpus room. 
If you would like more information concerning CMBC, drop us a note. 

A Christian College with an Anabaptist perspective. 

~ANAn>IAN*^ ^ 


600 Shaftesbury Blvd. 
Winnipeg, Man. R3P OM4 
(204) 888-6781 


What should we ponder? 

We appreciate the good work of The 
Mennonite. I would like to also encour- 
age you to maintain a truly biblical 

The article "The Word Became 
Flesh" (Dec. 24, 1985, issue) by Philip 
Friesen raised questions in my mind. 
There are statements that in them- 
selves are true, such as the statement 
"Humankind is of this earth . . . ," 
which we also learn from Genesis 2:7. 

In the opening statement, the author 
begins, "The evolutionary hypothesis, 
whether true or not, is a good idea for 
the Christian to ponder." I want to 
always be open to the truth. The incar- 
nation is, I believe, the event that has 
gone down in history second to none in 
importance for all people. Friesen is 
correct in referring to evolution as a 
hypothesis rather than a theory. At 
this time observed facts do not seem to 
substantiate biological evolution from 
the amino acids to the human species. 
So as to what to ponder, Paul gives us 
a very positive guide in Philippians 

I do not want to be unfair or unkind 
to the author and maybe I do not fully 
understand his objective. Arnold 
Claassen, 603 S.E. 2nd St., Newton, 
KS 67114 

Jan. 8 

What about the Magi? 

Since the Bible is inspired by God, we 
have a tendency to believe there could 
not be any discrepancies, no mistakes. 
God inspired the writers of the Bible 
in a special way. Nevertheless he chose 
human beings to write the Bible, and 
human beings are bound to make mis- 
takes. That is no reflection on God. 

I think that instead of using time 
and energy to try to deny the discrep- 
ancies, we should try to work through 
these. Take the Christmas story. Ac- 
cording to Luke, there seems to be no 
room for the story of the Magi. 

According to Matthew, Joseph and 
Mary lived in a house at Bethlehem 
and would have gone back there when 
they returned from Egypt but went to 
Nazareth because they feared for their 
son's life. I would like to think that 
the story of the wise men is historical, 
but according to Luke, who said that 
he had investigated everything thor- 
oughly before writing, it seems hardly 

But even if it is not historical, it is a 

beautiful story with a great truth im- 
bedded in it. The rich and the wise 
must also bow at the feet of the Savior, 
and sometimes it takes a long trip 
through spiritual deserts to reach that 
stage. Marie J. Janzen, 217 Muse 
if 104, Newton, KS 67114 

Jan. 10 

Legacy continues in Florida 

Our Anabaptist-Mennonite heritage 
has been used in many ways to remind 
us of a rich legacy. I grew up in Bluff- 
ton, Ohio, next door to the president of 
Witmarsum Seminary, forerunner of 
Mennonite Biblical Seminary. At 
Bluffton College I was editor of the 
campus paper called The Witmarsum. 
In 1970 I joined the faculty of Conrad 
Grebel College in Waterloo. 

At Sunnyside Village, a Christian 
retirement community in Sarasota, 
Fla., I have seen the definitive use of 
our place and name symbols in nam- 
ing streets: Witmarsum Boulevard, 
Grebel Place, Grebel Lane, Menno 

Simons Parkway, Sattler Lane. 

I assume this trend is due to the 
impressive rediscovery of our special 
history, which has been led by C. 
Henry Smith, Harold Bender, Chris- 
tian Neff and Cornelius Krahn. 
Donovan E. Smucker, Conrad Grebel 
College, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6 

Jan. 15 

The mid-Kansas relief sale 

I read with much interest the Nov. 26, 
1985, editorial "Gratitude in Action." 

My wife and I have been involved in 
the Kansas sale for many years. We 
have missed only one sale since it 
started in 1969. 

On Jan. 2 we had 235 people attend 
a planning meeting for the April 11-12 
Kansas sale. One person referred to 
that editorial. It was impressive, in- 
spiring and a challenge to new mem- 
bers attending a meeting for the first 
time. Dale S. Galle, Box 28, Moun- 
dridge, KS 67107 

Jan. 20 

Member congregations of the 

General Conference Mennonite Church 

Re: proposed amendment to constitution to be ratified at the Saskatoon con- 
ference July 21-27, 1986 

In the Oct. 28-29, 1983, meeting of the General Board, it was moved, seconded 
and carried that an amendment to Article III, Section III, point A concerning 
nominations and elections be submitted to the 1986 triennial sessions for 
ratification. This amendment would allow the nominating committee at its 
discretion to bring only one nominee for president, vice president or secretary 
of the General Conference in the event that there is an incumbent eligible for 

The nominating committee for the 1983 triennial sessions had a difficult 
time finding people who would allow their names to be put on the ballot to 
run against an incumbent who had served well. The proposed amendment, 
hence, was initiated by the 1983 nominating committee. 

The constitution stipulates that written notice of proposed amendments to 
the constitution be submitted to member congregations at least one month 
prior to the conference sessions. This is that written notice. 

The exact text of the amendment is the italicized portion of Article III, 
Section III, point A below. 

A. Nominations and Elections. Elections shall be held at each regular 
conference session to provide conference officers and members of confer- 
ence boards, commissions and other agencies. Two nominees for each office 
to be filled shall be presented by the nominating committee, with further 
nominations permitted by the delegate body according to procedures to be 
set forth in the bylaws. At the discretion of the nominating committee, only 
one nomination for an officer of the conference need be made where that 
nominee is the incumbent. Elections shall be by ballot and shall be deter- 
mined by majority of all votes cast. 

Vern Preheim, general secretary 



Editor's journal jottings— 3 

From Oct. 24-Dec. 2, 1985, I visited Paraguay, Uruguay, 
Brazil, Colombia and Panama. This included a 2V2-week 
preaching assignment in Paraguay. In this issue of The 
Mennonite / share the last in a series of notes recorded in 
my daily diary during those days. Bernie Wiebe 

Wednesday, Nov. 20 

Pastor Joao Fernando de Andrade of the Moema Church 
took us on a tour of the Mennonite churches in Sao Paulo, 
Brazil. Andrade is the only full-time pastor among the 
Portuguese churches. Moema had three baptisms in 1985 
and grew by 25 percent through friendship evangelism. It 
is making plans to send out its own missionary. 

The Vila Guarani Church has had severe internal prob- 
lems. Pastor Hans Dieter Hamm is trying to rebuild 

Primavera Church experienced a major scandal in recent 
years. Membership fell from 40 to 14. 

Lapa Church is in the midst of turmoil over charismatic 

Other than Moema, the church story looks sad in Sao 
Paulo. We need to muster prayers in the whole conference 
and to assist in leadership training. 

Thursday, Nov. 21 

From a depressing day in Sao Paulo to an upbeat visit in 
Campinas. Gary and Ellie Loewen, Commission on Over- 
seas Mission workers, have recently located here to head 
up the CEMTE program— to train people for leadership. 
Over 60 students enrolled in the first year. This was most 

Today I had my first meal at a "churrascaria." We sam- 
pled about 12 kinds of meat, salads and vegetables. All 

Downtown I saw the first obvious Christmas displays. 
The creative Christmas cards are fascinating. 

Friday, Nov. 22 

Over to Goiania, where there are two churches. COM mis- 

sionaries Ron and Marlene Daku serve here but are cur- 
rently back home in Canada. 

The Guanabara Church has just had its pastor resign. 
One reason is difficulty with the charismatic emphasis. 
They hold a service with us and ask many questions. They 
are eager for the Dakus to return. 

At Vila Itatiaia Church we see a new sanctuary together 
with an attached school. They are optimistic about the 
church's future— located in a fairly prosperous suburb. But 
they too express leadership concerns and are anxious for 
the Dakus to return. 

The Dakus will have their hands full when they come 
back. We must pray regularly for the work here. 

Monday, Nov. 25 

I separated from the COM staff and flew to Bogota, Colom- 
bia. Hector and Mary Valencia met me. 

In Colombia the dark shadow of the Armero volcano di- 
saster (Nov. 13) still dominates the media and all conversa- 
tion. About 25,000 people died. Many friends of our mis- 
sionaries and of people from our Mennonite churches have 
suffered deaths and other losses. 

I stay with longtime friends— Gerald and Mary Hope 

Tuesday, Nov. 26 

Got my first look at the Mennonite Center. It is quite im- 
pressive—bookstore, offices, meeting place for the Teusa- 
quillo Mennonite Church, guest room, pastor's suite. 

Peter Stucky, executive secretary for the Colombia Men- 
nonite Churches, took me along to deliver some relief sup- 
plies to Armero survivors. They spoke freely of the tragedy 
and how they barely escaped. 

We also visited the Mennonite churches in Bogota. Tone 
and spirit were enthusiastic. They are growing. But here 
too are leadership needs. Pastors come mostly from non- 
Mennonite backgrounds. Peter is glad to report four Men- 

(1) Pastor Andrade behind the Moema pulpit. (2) Pastor Hans Dieter Hamm and his wife, Eva, serve the Vila Guarani Church. (3) The 
start of a baptismal "tank" in Campinas. (4) In a meeting with people of the Guanabara Church in Goiania. The pastor is the man who is 
holding a child on his lap. 

Personal comments about Armero tragedy: 

"Where the Presbyterian school used to stand, all I 
could now see was a huge rock. The 600 students and 
staff of 60 were all killed." Jose Chuquin, member of 
Teusaquillo Mennonite Church and director of World 
Vision in Bogota 

"The mud dragged me for two blocks. Then I grabbed a 
log, and a boy helped me to get out. For 18 years I'd 
been working as a county guard. In this moment I find 
myself alone and without anything." Luis Angel 
Moreno, age 55, an Armero survivor 

"We heard a terrible noise. . . . We were sleeping, and 
my mother called me to get out. In this moment a car 
arrived and we got on. The avalanche dragged the car 
and began to crush it. We were pushed around . . . and it 
was broken against the trees. Getting out, a man made 
signs to us with a flashlight indicating we should come 
to the top of the building where he was. The next day a 
helicopter from the armed forces came and rescued us. 
Thanks to God. ..." Jaime Sanchez, age 20, who sur- 
vived together with his mother 

Teusaquillo Church. Both work for World Vision. 

They assisted me with firsthand testimonies by people 
caught in the Armero volcano tragedy. I also got many 
photographs taken on site by their staff. We discussed a 
Christian response to such people who are not believers. 
Both men are deeply concerned for a ministry to the total 

This evening I attended a special Thanksgiving service 
at the Union Church of Bogota. Howard Habegger, former 
COM executive secretary, is the pastor and preached the 
sermon. Howard told me he feels like a renewed man in 
this position. 

Saturday, Nov. 30 

I am in Panama City now, trying to get to Nicaragua. My 
travel agent had arranged for my visa to be in Managua. 

COPA airline officials contacted Managua and could not 
locate my visa. Without it they said I could not even board 
the plane. They called again— after my strong insistence— 
to no avail. 

I tried to call MCC offices in Managua. Also no luck. 
Finally I sent a telex. 

It is Saturday afternoon and I sit in the airport, wonder- 
ing what to do next. No embassy offices will be open over 
the weekend. I don't really have time to extend my trip. 
Work at my office will already be piled sky high. 

Upon checking flight schedules, I find that I can arrange 
to fly home to Winnipeg. It seems the best idea, even 
though it will take about two days. 

nonites currently studying at the Presbyterian seminary. I Monday, Dec. 2 

got to visit with two of them. One expressed special excite- I arrive in Winnipeg about 2:30 a.m. From the heat of 

ment about a recent seminar on Anabaptist theology. Panama to the frigid clime of Winnipeg is a drastic shock. 

My mind, soul and emotions are mixed. Glad to be home. 

Wednesday, Nov. 27 Sorry I had to pass up Central America. 
I spent much of the day with Ricardo Piheros C, a member Now to begin sorting out the meanings of the past 5% 

of the Berna Church, and Jose Chuquin, a member of the weeks. It will take time. 

(5) Pastoral couple of the Vila Itataiaia Church in Goiania find themselves too busy. He is also a physics teacher. (6) New Vila Itataiaia 
Church (left) has an overcrowded school attached to the sanctuary. (7) This boy survived the Armero, Colombia, tragedy. (8) The main 
approach to Armero after Nov. 13 was a sea of mud. (9) The pain and fear remain indelibly impressed upon the Armero survivors. 

Non-member members in the church 

LaVerna Klippenstein 

"If Lawrence [my husband] died to- 
day," I told someone once, "I'd go back 
to my own denomination tomorrow." 

The statement was made during a 
particularly stressful time of struggle 
within our GC congregation. 

It was an awful thing to say. Unkind 
and untrue. It certainly says more 
about my own needs and biases than 
those in our conference. 

It does, however, indicate something 
of the difficulties of those who have 
moved their membership even within 
the Mennonite family. I may well have 
idealized— some may say "idolized"— 
the church I left. But I know I felt 
secure in its clearly stated evangelical 
stance and conservative theological 

I missed in my adopted conference 
the expository messages punctuated 
with quoted Bible verses, the catharsis 
of annual deeper-life meetings and 
accountability to the congregation for 
one's lifestyle. I missed the repeated 
clear call to repentance and wondered 
how my children would come to faith 
without it. 

Most of all I was troubled by critical 
comments made by church leaders 
about people and programs that had 
blessed and nurtured my family. 

Only much later did I realize that 
my attitude to my adopted conference 
was just as critical. 

In the West we have the luxury of 
many denominations, and within each 
a wide spectrum of policies and prac- 
tices, if not professions of faith. It is 
relatively easy for most of us to find a 
compatible church within driving dis- 
tance and to transfer membership from 
one to another. Why then do so many 
adults who attend church regularly 
refuse to formalize membership? 

There is the increasingly common 
situation of a Catholic marrying a 
non-Catholic. My brother did this 
when both were uncommitted to 
Christ. Now they worship at the Salva- 
tion Army, where baptism and mem- 
bership are not an issue. 

There is Sandy, an active Christian 
for 15 years, whose uncommitted hus- 
band attends with her. She has decided 
not to join until he is ready too. 

The Fasts are older people who re- 
tired in a city but retain membership 
in the rural church where they have 

Do we really belong together? 

spent most of their lives. They have 
cemetery plots there and want to be 
buried "back home." 

For 10 years the Rempels have regu- 
larly attended a church other than 
their own because they like the vigor- 
ous Sunday school discussions. But 
they would not consider transferring 
their membership because of a strong 
sense of loyalty to the denomination 
where they were baptized. 

Several families have told me they 
changed churches for their children. 
But they keep their old membership. 

For some the issue is the mode of 

Since the 1950s society places less 
value on church membership, and that 
is another factor in its decline. 

Twice I have experienced another 
reason— the reluctance of the home 
congregation to "let me go." It hap- 
pened first when I was married. "Wait 
a while before you transfer," my minis- 
ter advised. "Maybe your husband will 
join our church." 

That was long ago and far away. 
Today we find ourselves in another 
situation. Three days after finding a 
place to live during our two-year ser- 
vice assignment we found a place to 
worship. We accept its doctrinal posi- 
tion and appreciate its worship ser- 
vices. We can readily support its major 
programs and have found friends and 
fellowship among its members. We 
have been invited to become associate 
members and have no strong objections 
to the idea. 

Why then do we hesitate? Primarily 
because our time here is temporary. 
Secondly, we are using this time of 

freedom from congregational and com- 
mittee responsibilities to visit a vari- 
ety of congregations. We worship at 
our new church regularly on Sunday 
mornings but have attended evening 
services at nine or 10 other churches. 
We would not feel free to do that if we 
were members here. Our sabbatical 
gives us an opportunity to observe 
other groups and learn from Chris- 
tians of other traditions. 

Added to that is the awareness that 
over the long term we would likely 
choose to affiliate with a different 
church. Few here would understand 
our peace position, and we can't sup- 
port the barn dance fund-raising pro- 
jects of the missions committee. We're 
the only teetotalers in the congrega- 
tion and feel the need for adult Sun- 
day school or Bible study, which are 
not provided here. 

When it came to identifying these 
reasons openly, they suddenly sounded 
holier-than-thou, exclusivist to say the 
least. All spring from similar soil, 
which kept me rooted psychologically 
to the church of my childhood. 

I think of many Soviet believers- 
Baptist, Pentecostals, various Menno- 
nite groups— who have had to work 
and worship together for two genera- 
tions. I think of our siblings and their 
spouses. One is a member in Bill 
Gothard's congregation, another is a 
Catholic. Others are Baptists, Pente- 
costals and leaders in three differing 
Mennonite conferences. 

I think of the women in my Winni- 
peg neighborhood Bible study last 
year. They came from Catholic, Lu- 
theran, Baptist, Mennonite, United 
and no church at all. I remember the 
significant and spiritually enriching 
times of fellowship and prayer. 

In the future I must look less within 
and more to God when I make mem- 
bership decisions. In the meantime I 
will continue to take seriously my 
responsibility for Christian nurture in 
the home and trust God to fill the gaps 
I find in the church we attend. I can't 
have 20/20 vision with a plank jutting 
from each eye. 

LaVerna Klippenstein, Keston College, 
Heathfield Road, Keston, Kent, UK 
BR2 6BA, is on a two-year sabbatical/ 
service assignment with her husband. 

70 FEBRUARY 11, 1986 


Which way at Saskatoon '86? 

Fifty or 60 years ago it was easy to say who we were and 
where we were going. We were Dutch, Swiss or German. 
We had a common cultural background. We spoke German, 
Plattdeutsch or Pennsylvania German. We ate borscht, 
wiener-schnitzel, vereniki, zwieback and sauerkraut. In 
this year's GC triennial sessions, July 21-27 at Saskatoon, 
we will want to ask the question, "Where are we going?" 

In the story of Alice in Wonderland, Alice is perplexed as 
she comes to a fork in the road. The Cheshire Cat, perched 
on the limb of a tree, observes her dilemma. Alice asks, 
"Which way shall I go?" The cat answers, "Where are you 
going?" Alice returns, "I don't know." "Then either way 
will get your there." 

God has a place for the General Conference in the story 
of the church. There is a multitude of good things we are 
doing in church planting, missions, evangelism and educa- 
tion. But we have limited resources and abilities. We need 
to set priorities. Missions holds the church together. We 
have fewer overseas missionaries than 20 years ago. This 
may only indicate that we have been good at training na- 
tive workers. However, the commission to reach others is 
still the same. It must remain our highest priority. 

What is our next order of business— nurture, evangelism, 
peace. . . ? Jesus said to some people one time, "What do ye 
more than others?" (Matthew 5:47). Maybe in some areas 
we have done more than others— in peace ministries and 
proportionately in missions. But in all these areas are we 
willing to be even more innovative? Are we willing to take 
risks? Our faith needs to be alive and growing and crea- 
tively applied to the work of the church of Christ. 

Through the power of the Holy Spirit we have accom- 
plished much in the past decades. But like the fire depart- 
ment that has just put out a four-alarm fire, we cannot rest 
on past accomplishments. We must be ready for the next 
challenge. And there are more challenges ahead. 

At a recent meeting of the American Bible Society, 
George Gallup said a survey revealed that 41 percent of 
today's teenagers in the United States participate in Bible 
study. What a challenge! 

There will always be tensions and debates as to what our 
priorities should be, but someone has said, "Where every- 
one thinks the same no one thinks very much." So there 
needs to be a continual evaluation and probing. And may 
God help broaden the horizon and thinking of our General 

Of course, we will make mistakes, but God can make 
good come out of our mistakes. Are we uncertain of the 
road? Is that why we vacillate on the subjects of abortion 
and homosexuality? Maybe we have gone around the 
mountain long enough (Deuteronomy 2:3). Hopefully the 
road will become clearer at Saskatoon. 

Ward W. Shelly, 1110 Westminster Drive, Washington, IL 
61571, is a retired GC pastor. He has helped out numerous 
congregations as interim pastor and continues to have a 
warm heart for the whole General Conference. His article is 
the first of a number that will call us to prayerful prepara- 
tion for the July 21-27 sessions at Saskatoon. Plan now to 


What kind of leadership is exercised in our churches today? And 
what is the biblical way to lead? Are there more ways than one? 

This issue explores some of what happens in our churches and 
conferences. It makes some prescriptions also. 

We believe the matter of leadership is one of the more critical 
needs for GC churches today. 

Mixed models of church and leadership 50 

Ministerial leadership in the General Conference 52 

Polishing the wisdom 54 

Anguish is part of the symphony of grace 55 

My testimony after college 56 

A Mennonite bicentennial 57 

News 58 

MCC Canada annual meeting 58 

Presbyterian-Mennonite Shalom Conference 59 

Young adults attend Break '85 60 

Letter from MCC workers in El Salvador 65 

Letters 67 

Editor's journal jottings— 3 68 

Non-member members in the church 70 

Which way at Saskatoon '86? 71 

Thy kingdom come 72 


Bernie Loeppky, Box 1300, Winkler, MB R0G 2X0, is executive 
director of the Eden Mental Health Centre. 

Jacob T. Friesen, Box 133, North Newton, KS 671 17, is retired 
yet remains deeply involved in church work. 


Cover, Gerry Unrau; 50, Esther Kreider Eash, 7516 E. Bayard Park 
Drive, Evansville, IN 47715; 52, 54, GCMC files; 55, 56, 65, 70, 
RNS; 57, 68, 69, Bernie Wiebe; 58, Bruce Hildebrand (MCC); 59, 
Bob Brenneman (MCC); 60, Tom Bishop; 69, World Vision, Bo- 
gota, Colombia. 


Editor: Bernie Wiebe 
600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4 / (204) 888-6781 

Assistant editor: Gordon Houser 

722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 / (316) 283-5100 

Editorial assistant: Sharon Sommer 
Art director: John Hiebert 
The Mennonite is a member of the Associated Church Press, 
Evangelical Press Association and Meetinghouse (a Mennonite 
and Brethren in Christ editors' group). It is an associate member of 
the Canadian Church Press. 

Business manager: Dietrich Rempel. Circulation secretary: Marilyn Kauf- 
man. Special editions editors: Central District, Evelyn Krehbiel. 229 Brook- 
wood, Bluffton, OH 45817; Pacific District, Carol Peterson, Box 338, Upland, 
CA 91785; Western District, Debbie Huxman, Box 306, North Newton. KS 
67117; Window to Mission, Lois Deckert, 122 W. Dayton Yellow Springs 
Road, Apt. #4, Fairbom, OH 45324; and Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, Richard A. Kauffman, 3003 Benham Ave. Elkhart, IN 46517. 




Thy kingdom come 

The world held its breath last Nov. 19 as Reagan and 
Gorbachev met in Geneva. It was the first meeting 
ever of these two superpower leaders and the first 
USA-USSR summit conference since 1979. 

Just a few days earlier, Nov. 14-15, another "sum- 
mit" meeting took place at Camp Lake, Wis. The 
General Board (GB)— our top leadership body— of the 
General Conference met in intense sessions that "cul- 
minated in a late-night prayer session" (see Dec. 10, 
1985, issue, pp. 590-591). Out of that prayer session 
came what could become the most crucial leadership 
decision made in recent decades within GC circles. 

At that meeting the GB decided to present the "De- 
velopment Plan" at the July 21-27 Saskatoon trien- 
nial sessions. 

That Development Plan may even at this time be 
one of the best-kept secrets in our conference. For 
some strange reasons I find that almost no one out- 
side of conference officers and staff knows about its 
nature and intention. 

The Development Plan goal is conference-wide spir- 
itual renewal and commitment. Yes, that includes an 
aim for substantial dollar commitments. 

If that goal should catch fire, this plan could be the 
best thing that has happened to our General Confer- 
ence in many decades. 

According to Gordon Houser's report on that GB 
meeting, our leaders "unanimously" agreed that the 
time is now for us to look at possibly radical changes 
ahead. GB members said it was "scary ... a turning 
point ... no more business as usual ... a holy mo- 
ment" (p. 591). 

That's the kind of heady leadership our conference 
needs. It is the kind of creative initiative many 
prayed might happen at Geneva for the whole world. 

"Setting our fix at Saskatoon '86" July 21-27 can 
become a reality. Delegates from our 345 member 
churches and another 100 related congregations will 
meet for a week of worship, study, prayer and deliber- 
ation around the theme "Thy Kingdom Come." 

Quite the setting! Our focus will be on a key ele- 
ment in the Lord's Prayer. It says we can expect to 
see greater evidence of God's kingdom if we sincerely 
seek it. 

It will surely "call our bluff." Will we simply con- 
vene another triennial session? Or will we have the 
courage to pursue the Lord's Prayer and to follow 
through on our chosen theme? 

I believe General Conference members have been 
waiting for this kind of leadership. Spiritual renewal 
is overdue among us. Commitments need to be 

In many GC churches I see and hear strong trends 
to go outside our own leadership for help in evange- 
lism, youth ministries, prayer and healing circles, 
Bible study guides, mission services, inner-life re- 
newal and preparatory studies for church workers. 

Our people want stronger direction from leadership. 
They deserve it. Too often it has felt as if we were a 
rudderless ship. 

And this is where I still sense a badly missing link. 
The GB has had its "summit" and come to a crucial 
decision. So far so good. Now— sooner rather than 
later— this vision must be boldly and clearly shared 
with the whole General Conference. Let the secret 
out. What radical changes do you foresee? Tell us the 
commitments that will be called for. 

This is a time to speak up and let us all know 
where GC leadership says, "Here I stand. . . ." Our 
leaders must interpret for us what the Development 
Plan is all about. Take the risks of spelling out the 

Yes, God's kingdom can become a greater reality 
among us. That will not happen by giving Saskatoon 
'86 delegates more catalogs of findings about human 
sexuality, leadership accountability or church plant- 
ing. Delegates will not and should not be expected to 
settle for that. They must see the GB compass. 

That unanimous decision at Camp Lake must be 
translated into people who dare to stand and be 
counted. We must together risk to claim the prayer 
"Thy kingdom come." 

Otherwise this most potent leadership statement I 
have ever seen come from our General Board will 
become another "minute" neatly recorded for archi- 
vists to ponder in the future. 

Let's together set our fix at Saskatoon '86: "Thy 
kingdom come." Bernie Wiebe 



101:04 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 


Mennonite Voluntary Service 

Now Mennonites are acquiring education and affluence in 
the Western world, and weekly they are going with their 
families to the house of the Lord. And an angel of the Lord 
appears to them in a flame of fire in their hearts, a flame 
that will not go out. And the Mennonites are saying, "We 
will turn aside and heed this burning in our hearts." And 
the Lord calls to them out of their hearts, "Mennonites, 
Mennonites!" And they say, "Here we are." And the Lord 
says, "Take off your shoes; you are on holy ground. I am 
the God of Sarah and Abraham, the God of Jacob and 
Moses, the God of Ruth and Esther, the God of Amos and 
Elijah, the God of Mary and Jesus, the God of many people 
of faith through the centuries. I have seen the affliction of 
my people who are poor in Canada and the United States; 
I have heard their cries because of their poverty; I know 
their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them. 
Behold, the cry of the people has come to me. Come, I will 
send you to many places— to cities and to reservations, to 
peoples of differing races and cultures, to old and young— 
that you may bring them forth out of oppression. 

"I will send you to Kansas City and Chicago and Winnipeg 

and Elkhart, 
to Beatrice and Ames and Moencopi, 
to Oklahoma City and Dallas and Cleveland and 


to Hamilton and Seattle and Denver and Reedley, 
to Wichita and Liberal and Markham and Fresno, 
to St. Catharines and St. Louis and San Francisco, 
and to other places I will send you. 
I will send you to preach good news to the poor. 
I will send you to repair houses for the widows and 

to give aid to the homeless and hungry, to care for the 

to make peace and seek justice, to walk with 

those fleeing violence in Central America, 
to walk and talk with those suffering violence 

at home. 

I will send you to bring words and deeds of 
hope to those in despair." 

And Mennonites are saying, 
"Oh Lord, we are small in numbers, we are 

not eloquent in speech. 
We are raising families, making livings, 

becoming established in careers and professions. 
Oh Lord, send someone else." 

The patience of the Lord is tested by the Mennonites 
and the Lord is saying, 

"It is not only for the sake of the poor that I am calling 


It is for your own well-being, it is for the sake of your soul, 
lest your heart be lifted up and you forget the Lord your 

who brought you out of persecution, who rescued you from 

Beware lest you say in your hearts, 

our power and the might of our hands has gotten us this 

You shall remember the Lord your God 
for it is the Lord who gives you life. 
And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other 

if you worship the gods of Comfort and Affluence, 
if you bow down to National Security, 

I solemnly warn you this day that you shall perish. 
So it is for your sake I am calling you, 
and for the sake of the poor in your lands and 
around the world. 

And it is not only you whom I am calling. 
Are there not Baptists and Presbyterians and 
Lutherans and Catholics and Methodists and others 
unsure of their identity? 
These sisters and brothers of the Spirit are coming 
to join you in this call. 

You shall welcome them and serve together with them." 

And people from many faith communities across the 

are going to their families and to their congregations and 

they are saying, 
"The Lord is calling us to go to hurting sisters and 

The Lord is calling us to walk with them to follow the 
Christ with them, 

to seek with them the ways of peace and justice, 
to seek with them the ways of God, 
to proclaim with them the salvation of 
the Lord." 

And they give themselves to service in the name of Christ 
for one year and for two years and for five 
they give themselves to serve their neighbors and their 

And seeds of hope are planted here and there 
in community centers and in shelters and in schools 
and in drop-in centers and in churches and on the streets 
and in day-care centers and in houses of the poor and 

seeds of hope are planted 
and flowers of faith grow here and there 
and the bread of life is celebrated with thanksgiving. 

But there are voices in the land saying, 

"Cut back all aid, no more funds for the poor. 

Let them find their own straw to build their shelters 

Let them eat our surplus cheese and scraps from 

Let them huddle in their homes when heat is scarce." 

And plagues come upon their lands 

plagues of higher rents and lower resources 

plagues of robbing poverty funds to pay proliferation of 

weapons funds 
plagues of abortion and abuse and alcohol 
plagues of loneliness and fear and hopelessness. 

Jon Nafziger, from the Denver MVS unit, works with sanctuary for 

Janna Harold, from the Fresno MVS unit, serves as arts and 
crafts director for the Fresno Boys' and Girls' Club. 



And the Voluntary Servants together with people of faith 

in many places 
are creating programs to aid those in need 
they are joining hands and hearts in planting seeds of the 

New Creation 

they are giving minds and bodies in the building of the 
New Creation. 

With people of compassion they are planting seeds of faith 
and hope and love. 

And the Lord is saying, 

"Do you not say the kingdom harvest is in the future? 
I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see the fields are already 

white for harvest. 
The harvest is plentiful, the laborers are few. 
Pray therefore the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers 

into the harvest." 

And from here and there and everywhere they come 

for shorter and for longer times 

they come to serve their neighbors and their Lord. 

And there is rejoicing in heaven, 
and there is hope on the earth. 

Was Jesus a 1ie-man? 

Galen W. Goertzen 

Male. What does it mean to be a 
Christian male in today's world? Most 
males still tend to think of themselves 
as the dominant forces in society. But 
did God intend males to be the domi- 
nant, aggressive Clint Eastwoods that 
society idolizes? 

Marc Feinsten Fasteau refers to soci- 
ety's perfect man as the "male ma- 
chine." The male machine is one 
geared for work. He can take on just 
about any job and conquer it. Personal 
feelings for anybody or anything are 
virtually non-existent. He respects 

other males but refuses to become 
close friends with anyone. He can't 
show that kind of weakness (The Male 
Machine, p. 1). 

Most of his relationships are with 
females. Women exist solely for the 
purpose of sustaining him. Even 

The Mennonite (ISSN 0025-9330) seeks to witness, teach, motivate and build the Christian fellowship within the context of Christian love and freedom under the guidance of the 
Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. It is published semimonthly by the General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St,, Box 347, Newton, KS 671 14. Subscription rates: one year, 
$14.50 U.S., $16.50 Canada; two years, $26 U.S., $29 Canada; three years, $35 U.S., $39 Canada. Foreign subscriptions add 50 cents per year to U.S. rate. Second class postage 
paid at Newton, KS, and additional mailing offices Printed in USA POSTMASTER: Send Form 3579 to The Mennonite, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 

76 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 

"Greatness in the kingdom of God depends more on how far 
down you are than how close to the top. " 

though he depends on women for sup- 
port, he will not open himself up to 
them. Harvey Cox says that "the story 
of man's refusal so to be exposed goes 
back to the story of Eden and is ex- 
pressed by man's desire to control the 
other rather than to be with the 
other" (The Secular City, p. 200). 

That is the key. Man must be in 
control of the circumstances around 
him, of the women in his life and espe- 
cially of his emotions. He can never be 
vulnerable. This need for control ex- 
presses itself in other ways too. A man 
must be successful. He should own the 
biggest and most expensive car on the 
block, have the prettiest wife and be 
the best athlete. He must be a leader, 
aggressive and afraid of nothing. The 
ultimate expression of manhood is 
stated by Clint Eastwood as he looks 
down the barrel of a pistol. Coolly, 
evenly and even scornfully he growls, 
"Make my day." Even when he's fac- 
ing death he's in control. 

The drive for superiority is instilled 
in boys at a young age. From the time 
I got into school I realized the impor- 
tance of being on top. The athletes 
were always looked up to as the impor- 
tant people in school. The ones that 
weren't good enough to be the stars 
were looked down on and teased. A boy 
couldn't show any sign of weakness 
either. If he ever showed emotions or 
cried he was considered a sissy. That's 
why many young boys have feelings of 
failure which carry into their adult- 
hood. Men that refuse to express their 
emotions become emotionally incompe- 
tent. Hiding their emotions leads to 
increased stress. That is probably why 
men are the most susceptible to ulcers 
and heart disease (New Men, New 
Roles, p. 15). It is no wonder men have 
a shorter life expectancy. 

Competitiveness and aggression of- 
ten dominate male relationships. The 
worth of a man is often judged by his 
status and how much money he makes. 
He has to keep up with the Joneses. 
This job is never done. You never 
really reach the top. The only way to 
keep moving up is to stay aggressive. 
This leads to overwork. Uncountable 
marriages and friendships have proba- 
bly been ruined by this need to be 
number one. 

What should the Christian perspec- 
tive be on this? Do we have a model to 
follow which can compete with Clint 
Eastwood, John Wayne and James 
Bond? The ultimate model for Chris- 
tians should be Jesus Christ himself. 

Was Jesus masculine? He seems 
unmasculine to today's culture. He 
didn't hold a job during the peak years 
of his life, let alone start his own com- 
pany. He didn't seem to be rich. All he 
owned were the clothes on his back. 

He didn't do beer commercials or play 
professional football. Isaiah 53:2 says 
of him, "He had no dignity or beauty 
to make us take notice of him. There 
was nothing attractive about him, 
nothing that would draw us to him." 

Jesus definitely didn't teach that 
success and status were the ultimate 
goals of life. He proved this during his 
wanderings in the wilderness. He was 
presented the chance to control the 
world— a man's dream. The devil took 
Jesus up to the top of a mountain and 
showed him the world. " 'All this I will 
give you,' the Devil said, 'if you kneel 
down and worship me' " (Matthew 4:9). 
He could have had the whole world 
worshiping and following him. But he 
knew that this would never truly bring 
him happiness. 

His teachings illuminated that power 
and glory are a false illusion. John 
and James once came to him wanting 
part of Jesus' power and glory. Jesus' 
answer was backwards from what soci- 
ety would have said. "You know that 
the men who are considered rulers of 
the heathen have power over them, 
and the leaders have complete author- 
ity. This, however, is not the way it is 
among you. If one of you wants to be 
great, he must be the servant of the 
rest; and if one of you wants to be 
first, he must be last of all" (Mark 

Greatness in the kingdom of God 
depends more on how far down you are 
than how close you are to the top. 

Jesus did not have a high opinion of 
riches either. He said at one time that 
it is easier for a camel to go through 
the eye of a needle than for a rich man 
to get into heaven. Financial success is 
apparently not a prerequisite for en- 
trance into the kingdom of God. 

Jesus was not looking for power. He 
was willing to admit his dependence 
on others. He chose 12 disciples to 
help him carry out his work. He knew 
that he could not carry the whole load. 
He needed help. 

He depended on God, his father, 
heavily. It is said he often went off by 
himself to pray. Jesus realized that all 
his power and strength came from 
God. He says in John 5:19: "I tell you 
the truth. The Son can do nothing on 
his own. He does only what he sees his 
father doing." Men today must live in 
the same spirit of dependence on God. 

To be men today. Paul taught that 
we should be dependent on each other 
too. He compares the Christian church 
to a human body. Each person has a 
different role to fulfill, and we each 

depend on other people fulfilling 
theirs. "And so there is no division in 
the body, but all its different parts 
have the same concern for one an- 
other" (1 Corinthians 12:25). 

Society holds the view that men 
should never show their feelings. Jesus 
didn't seem to consider this necessary 
to maintain his manhood. He went out 
of his way to show compassion for peo- 
ple. He not only expressed his love for 
the righteous, but he loved even the 
less desirable people: the poor, the 
sick, the elderly, the tax collectors and 
the Roman soldiers. He was "moved 
with compassion" for a leper. He even 
showed love and compassion for a sin- 
ful prostitute. He was gentle with and 
loved children. Even when the reli- 
gious leaders came to get him in order 
to crucify him, he showed compassion. 
He healed one of the men who was 
coming to arrest him. This is opposite 
from today's society, where men are 
afraid to show love for anyone. 

Jesus knew when it was time to 
weep. He wept for Lazarus when he 
died. He wept for the city of Jerusa- 
lem. He sobbed at the Garden of Geth- 
semane before he died. He knew what 
pain was and did not try to cover it up 
with false manliness. He knew that 
sorrow is nothing to be ashamed of. 

However, Jesus was not a faint- 
hearted sissy. He was the model of 
courage. He was willing to stand up 
and fight for justice. He took on some 
of the most powerful men in Palestine. 
He stood up against their customs and 
stated what he believed. He went into 
the Temple and chased out the money- 
changers. He knew that they had the 
power to kill him at any time. But he 
stood firm on the fact that what he 
believed was right. In the end he 
showed enough courage to die for all 

Maybe this is what manhood is all 
about: the compassion to love each 
other and the courage to stand up for 
each other. The Bible is full of men 
who showed such courage and love- 
Paul, Stephen, Peter and John. 

Women too. But this kind of man- 
hood is not just for men. Women like 
Deborah, Priscilla and Dorcas showed 
the same kind of strength. Jesus 
showed us what it means to be fully 
human. In his genuine expression of 
masculinity, he is the ultimate exam- 
ple to follow for both men and women. 

In the end I wonder who was more 
masculine: the people who hung Jesus 
on the cross or the person who hung 
there for all humanity. • 



MVS . . . round 

Perry and Elizabeth Yoder 

From 1975 to 1977 our family spent 
two years in Mennonite Voluntary 
Service in a teaching ministry that 
took us across Canada and the United 
States several times. Now, 10 years 
later, we're back in MVS again. 

At the beginning of our second round 
of MVS we lived in the Philippines for 
four months. That experience con- 
firmed for us the importance of work- 
ing here at home to do what we can 
about the way our countries contribute 
to unjust situations in the Third 

Our unit is called the Shalom Unit 
and its mission is peace and justice 
education. For Perry the major assign- 
ment is teaching Old Testament at 
Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, but he also does other writing 
and teaching assignments that are in 
line with our mission. Elizabeth is a 
seminary student but also works at 
media monitoring and other justice 
work. The twins, Joel and Joshua, are 
high school freshmen. 

Why are we in VS? Along with a 
group of people who call themselves 
the Service Order, we have covenanted 
"to order our economic lives so that we 
will not contribute to militarism and 
so we can free money and energy for 
actions which point to wholeness of 
life." Some but not all of the members 
of the Service Order have chosen MVS 
as the best way to live out that part of 
the covenant. Since we are in VS for 
an indefinite length of time, MVS has 
a special category for us, and the Ser- 
vice Order as a whole serves as our 
reference council. 

The way our unit works is not much 
different from other MVS units. All 

Elizabeth and Perry Yoder, together with 
their twins, when they served as "People's 
Teachers of the Word" from 1975-77. 




the income that Perry earns as a pro- 
fessor and Elizabeth earns in her part- 
time job at the seminary is sent to 
Mennonite Voluntary Service. Each 
month we report our expenses to MVS 
and are reimbursed. The surplus stays 
in Newton in the "Shalom MVS" 

When there is a project for which we 
would like to use these funds, we re- 
quest the amount needed and, if our 
request is approved, it is sent to us for 
that purpose. For example, last sum- 
mer we were able to help a friend in 
the Philippines buy a motorcycle so 
that he could travel among the Basic 
Christian Communities he is helping 
organize. We have also been able to 
help a Filipino theological student 
continue her education. 

Of course there are all kinds of 
things the money can't be used for. We 
can't buy a microwave or a VCR, for 
example. We can't save for our sons' 
education or for the perfect vacation. 
But on the other hand, the money 
can't be used for B-l bombers or MX 
missiles. It can't be used to prop up 
the Marcos regime in the Philippines 
or to give aid to the contras in 

Being in MVS gives our lives a focus 
other than putting food on the table 
and trying to get ahead financially or 
just doing a good job in our profes- 
sions. Since any money we earn goes 

Left to right: 
Joshua, Perry, 
Elizabeth and 
Joel Yoder of the 
Shalom MVS 
Unit in 1985. 

into the Shalom MVS account and not 
to us personally, we ask ourselves be- 
fore accepting assignments, "Is this 
how we want to spend unit time?" or, 
"For what will we use this extra 
money?" For example, we hope that 
the extra income from Elizabeth's 
part-time job will enable us to bring a 
Third World professor to AMBS for an 
interterm or even a semester. 

Looking back at an article I (Eliza- 
beth) wrote for The Mennonite in 1975, 
I see that even then we thought of our 
project as an experiment with VS as a 
lifestyle. I wrote, "VS has long been 
seen as viable only for single people or 
childless couples. We want to work 
toward a model of a viable lifestyle for 
all segments of the church (all ages, 
all classes) that will neither be overly 
consumptive nor inhumanly frugal" 
("Called to Be Dandelions," Aug. 19, 
1975, issue). 

So far, that has been true of MVS the 
second time around. We have the secu- 
rity of knowing that our basic needs 
will be met. We have the satisfaction 
of knowing that our surplus funds are 
being used for the things we believe 
in. And we have a structure that helps 
us direct our energy toward God's 

Perry and Elizabeth Yoder, 1617 Roys 
Ave., Elkhart, IN 46516, describe their 
work with the Shalom MVS Unit. 

78 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 


Service is the Christian lifestyle 

Helen Unrau 

In the early days of his ministry, Jesus 
came to attend the synagogue in his 
hometown— Nazareth. He was given 
the book of Isaiah to read. This is 
what he read: "The Spirit of the Lord 
is upon me, because he has anointed 
me to preach good news to the poor. He 
has sent me to proclaim release to the 
captives and recovering sight to the 
blind, to set at liberty those who are 
oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable 
year of the Lord" (Luke 4:18-19). 

He then said, "Today this scripture 
has been fulfilled in your hearing" 
(Luke 4:21). 

This was for Jesus a clear mandate 
for service while on this earth. He 
fulfilled this mandate by becoming a 
servant to all. He healed the sick, set 
free those who were oppressed. He 
challenged people to leave all and fol- 
low him, and wherever he went he 
preached good news to the poor. 

Before he left this earth, he gave a 
similar mandate to his disciples, "Go, 
therefore, and make disciples of all 
nations, baptizing them in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe 
all that I have commanded you, and lo, 
I will be with you always, to the close 
of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20). 

This is also our mandate today. To 
follow Christ means to serve as he 
served— with the gifts that have been 
entrusted to us. 

The importance of service has been 
instilled in me by faithful teaching in 
my home congregation. Through this 
teaching I became aware that service 
was a way of life; that I was serving 
God when I worked as a nurse in the 
hospital and in the doctor's office. I 
was also drawn into service in my 
congregation, beginning with singing 
in the choir, teaching Sunday school, 
working on committees and later serv- 
ing as Sunday school superintendent 
and as full-time Christian education 
director. I enjoyed these areas of ser- 
vice and I received many blessings and 
experienced spiritual growth as a 
result. I was grateful that I could serve 
my home congregation in these many 
and various ways. I had often thought 
about voluntary service outside of my 
home community as a good experience, 
but somehow the time had not ever 
seemed right. 

Deborah Spooner, above right, Denver West 
MVS unit, coordinates low-income housing 
plans. Rhonda Shoenmaker, below, Wichita 
MVS unit, cares for a child as a community 
health nurse. In all cases MVS tries to meet 
needs that would likely not be served 
without volunteers. And they try to do it as 
a Christian lifestyle. 

Then came the crossroads. I felt that 

my work in my home congregation 

was coming to a close. What was to be 
my next place of service? 

As I searched for direction, I was 
again reminded of voluntary service 
and thought about it seriously. The 
doubts and fears of launching out at 
age 55 into such a venture were real. I 
continued to explore other options, but 
as doors closed it became clear that 
voluntary service at Welcome Inn 
Community Centre and Church in 
Hamilton, Ont., was most suitable. 

This meant uprooting from my home 
congregation, hometown, family and 
friends. Not an easy task. However, 
with the support of family and many 
friends, I was able to make the move. 

The change of location was drastic. 
Moving from a small town, predomi- 
nantly middle-class Mennonite, and a 
church community of 600 members to 
a low-income community setting in a 
city and a church community of 40-60 

I have experienced service here to be 
the same in many ways. It means in- 
teracting with people, loving and car- 
ing about them. It means doing all the 
things that need doing— visitation, 

quilting, baking, leading a club or 

teaching Sunday school, assisting in 
the worship service or giving transpor- 
tation to people. However, in learning 
to relate to people in a different 
socioeconomic setting, I am being chal- 
lenged to rethink some of our ap- 
proaches to serving the poor among us, 
along with our lifestyle values. 

Mennonite Voluntary Service is giv- 
ing me another valuable perspective of 
service that I deeply cherish. It is 
again being affirmed to me that ser- 
vice is a way of life no matter what 
the setting. 

Welcome Inn has proved to be the 
place where I feel God wants me to 
serve at this time. The work is chal- 
lenging. The warmth of co-workers and 
community people is great. God is at 
work in our midst, and people's lives 
are being changed. 

Christ has said, "Truly, I say unto 
you, as you did it unto the least of 
these my brethren, you did it unto me" 
(Matthew 25:39b). 

Helen Unrau from Altona, Man., works 
with the Mennonite Voluntary Service 
unit at 177 Wood St. E., Hamilton, ON 
L8L 3Y8. 


Interview with James Chung-Fu Liu 

James C. Liu, won to Christ through 
early GC missionaries in China, was 
baptized in 1922. Now 81, Liu visited 
in the United States and Canada last 
fall. A former student of Bluffton 
(Ohio) College and of Bethel College, 
North Newton, Kan., he visited both 
institutions. Elmer Neufeld, president 
of Bluffton College, had the following 
conversation with James Liu. 

Elmer Neufeld: Please tell us a bit 
about your family, your parents, your 
wife, and your son and his family. 

James Liu: My family members are 
as follows: My father was a farmer, 
and my mother was a good house- 
keeper. Both of them were faithful 
Christians. My wife, Hazel, was a reg- 
istered nurse and a faithful Christian. 
Timothy is our only son, and he works 
in a factory as an electrician. His wife 
is a high school teacher. They have two 
sons: the older one, Paul, is 16 years 
old and is in his second year of senior 
high school. The younger one, John, is 
13 years old and is in his third year of 
junior high school. 

Neufeld: How did you become a 

Liu: When I was a boy, the Chinese 
people did not know much about Chris- 
tianity. I began to attend church when 
I was 7 years old— with my parents. 
The first time I attended catechism 
class some of our relatives told me, "If 
you join the church or believe in Jesus 
Christ the foreigners will take you to 
other countries and dig out your heart 
and your eyes." When I heard that, I 
quit going to church for some time. As 
I grew older, I realized that was not 
true. So I began attending catechism 
class again. Finally, I became a Chris- 
tian in 1922. 

Neufeld: What are some of the 
things you remember about the early 
Mennonite missionaries? 

Liu: I went to the General Confer- 
ence Mennonite mission elementary 
school in 1916. H. J. Brown was the 
principal. In 1917 E. G. Kaufman 
came to China and set up a junior 
high school in 1923. I graduated from 
the junior high school in 1924. Mrs. 
E. G. Kaufman and Mrs. A. M. 
Lohrentz were our English teachers. 
A. M. Lohrentz was our mission medi- 
cal doctor. I also remember C. L. Pan- 
nabecker, S. F. Pannabecker and their 
families, also Sam J. Goering and 
W. C. Voth and their families. 

Neufeld: How did it happen that you 
came to America in 1930 to study at 
Bluffton College? 

Liu: E. G. Kaufman was the princi- 
pal of our mission high school. He 
knew me quite well. In the spring of 
1930 he made arrangements for 
Stephen Wang and me to come to 
Bluffton College. 

Neufeld: What are some of the 
things you remember about your expe- 
rience at Bluffton? 

Liu: In the fall of 1930, when I first 
came to Bluffton College, I felt every- 
body was so friendly and helpful to 

Elmer Neufeld 

me. I liked Bluffton College very much 
because it is a small, fine Christian 
school. It was quite easy for me to 
keep contacts with teachers and fellow 
students. I am proud of being one of 
the first China Education Exchange 
students at Bluffton College in 

Neufeld: I understand that after the 
war you worked for a time with Men- 
nonite Central Committee in China. 

Liu: In spring 1946 my wife, Hazel, 
and I left our native town, Kaichow 
(now called Puyang), and came to 
Kaifeng. At that time the MCC unit 
was at Kaifeng. S. F. Pannabecker 
asked me and my wife to work with 
MCC. I worked as an interpreter and 
in the office of the headquarters. 
Sometimes I went out with other mem- 
bers to do investigation. Then in 1948 
I worked with the Hengyang orphan- 
age run by MCC until after liberation 
in 1951. 

Neufeld: What was your experience 

as a Christian pastor and teacher dur- 
ing the Cultural Revolution? 

Liu: During the Cultural Revolution 
from 1966 to 1976 I was compelled to 
join the movement. I was locked in one 
room for three years. Nobody was al- 
lowed to see me— not even my wife. I 
slept on several school desks which 
were put together with no mattress. I 
ate food consisting of old vegetable 
leaves and rice cooked together. There 
was no salt or any other thing in it. 
They said I was a spy and a running 
dog of the American missionaries. I 
was humiliated by the Red guards. I 
was severely criticized because I was a 
Christian and an intellectual. 

Neufeld: What is happening in the 
church in China today? 

Liu: After liberation the Christian 
churches in China were allowed to 
carry on their church work. But dur- 
ing the Cultural Revolution nobody 
was allowed to believe in religion. The 
Christians had to turn in or destroy 
their Bibles and hymnbooks and other 
Christian literature. In 1976 the Gang 
of Four was smashed. Since then our 
new government has given freedom to 
believe in Christian religion. Many 
churches have been reopened now. 
They are getting along nicely. 

Neufeld: We have heard that there 
are no longer Mennonite churches or 
denominational churches in China but 
only "three-self churches. What does 
this mean? 

Liu: Now the names of all churches 
in China have been changed into the 
Three-Self Patriotic Movement Church. 
There are no denominations. The 
churches in China are all operated by 
the Chinese church members. They are 
independent churches not run by the 
government. The condition of the Chi- 
nese churches is quite promising. The 
Chinese Christians think they should 
love our Lord and at the same time 
they should love their country. 

Neufeld: How can we as Christians 
in America help to build relationships 
with China and the people of China? 

Liu: I think that the China Educa- 
tion Exchange program is a good way 
to help build a better relationship with 
China. The teachers and students can 
exchange their experiences and their 
cultures so they can know each other 
better. Mutual visits and mutual corre- 
spondence can also promote good rela- 
tionships between our countries. 

80 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 


Neufeld: Do you have anything else 
that you would like to share with 
Christians in America? 

Liu: First, the thing I think very 
important is that we need your prayers 
for the Chinese churches. I think we 
should forget all the unhappy things 
in the past and work hard to complete 
the task given by our Lord. Try to 
keep good relations between the Chi- 
nese and American people and pass 
this on to the next generation. I would 
like to give Romans 8:28 as a gift to 
our American Christian friends— "We 
know that in everything God works for 
good with those who love him, who are 
called according to his purpose." 

Neufeld: When Mother Teresa was 
here from India, she said that the ma- 
terial needs in India are greater than 
the material needs in America, but 
that the spiritual needs in America 
may well be greater than the spiritual 
needs in India. And that may also be 
true for us in relationship to China. 

* * * 
When James Liu was in Winnipeg, the 
editor of The Mennonite also had op- 
portunity to visit with him. 

Among other struggles, James told 
how he and his wife, Hazel, agonized 
during the Cultural Revolution when 
all Christian literature was forbidden. 
They finally buried their Bibles and 
other Christian literature. That made 
them feel guilty, so they dug them out 
and burned them instead. This did not 
feel good either, and they prayed to 
God for forgiveness about it. 

While there is no Mennonite church 
or denomination in China today, Liu is 
glad to point out that numerous for- 
mer Mennonite leaders are now leaders 
in the church. 

Recently the churches have put more 
emphasis on youth. In his own church, 
12 were baptized at Christmas 1984, 
another seven at Easter, and recently 
two were sent off to seminary. 

When asked about first impressions 
upon coming back to America, Liu 
said he found Mennonites friendly over 
50 years ago and found them so still in 
1985. But he was struck by the big 
highways congested with automobiles 
and by the many, many new buildings 

As a concerned grandfather, James 
Liu had been trying to teach his two 
grandsons to read the Bible in En- 
glish. While they are interested in the 

James Liu chats with editor Bernie Wiebe. 

language, he said that progress had 
been slow. Now, on his visit, he found 
other than the old King James Ver- 
sion. It made him glad. He believes 
they will be much more ready to read 
the New International Version. 

Concerning Bibles in general, Liu 
said half the Christians in China now 
have Bibles. And though the Chinese 
Bible Society is busy printing more, 
they have difficulty keeping pace with 
the demand. 

Early winter 

Reynold Siemens 

Sweet vernal showers and youth's delight have passed, 
And May's first flowers adorn the path no more; 
The driving snow, the chilling icy blast 
Come from the dark, in from the darkening moor. 

Like birds, long flown, with their sweet notes forgot, 
Spring's sounds that music were, no more will quiver; 
Like soft tones drawn from strings, once gently wrought, 
Night closes all, and they are stilled forever. 

Wasted autumn leaves lift up in flight- 
As phantom clouds, that mark the calling wind, 
Deep solstice shadows hasten to the night: 
The year's last moments quickening to their end. 

To youth and spring, these soon forgotten things, 
The dying year a sadness ever brings. 


Sisters and Brothers 


Money woes discussed 

CMC Council of Boards focuses on three Fs 

Winnipeg (GCMO-Three Fs-fi- 
nances, facilities and fund raising- 
dominated the Conference of Menno- 
nites in Canada's annual Council of 
Boards here Feb. 6-8. 

After several excellent years for 
CMC financially, the treasurer's report 
this year began, "The past year has 
been a poor financial year for the con- 
ference. A cash deficit of just over 
$127,000 resulted from the 1985 opera- 
tions." Congregational giving came in 
at 94.4 percent of the budget. 

This financial dilemma created 
scrambling within the boards to adjust 
1986 spending plans and projections. 

Adding to the budget-income problem 
in 1985 was the new figure quoted to 
pay for phase one of the projected facil- 
ities expansion. Reported to the Regina 
(1985) sessions to cost about $1.85 mil- 
lion, the updated drawings for phase 
one shown to the Council of Boards 
had a price tag estimated at $2.4 mil- 

The facilities expansion in phase one 
would include overdue office facilities 
for college and conference staff, new 
office space for the Conference of Men- 
nonites in Manitoba, new lounges and 
music rooms in the student residence, 
a regulation size gym and new access 
to the total complex. 

One decision provoked by the discus- 
sion on facilities was to go back and 
see if the price can be brought down. 
Otherwise the plan is to be brought 
before CMC delegates this July in 
Waterloo, Ont. 

The matter of fund raising became 
crucial for at least three reasons: (1) 

Native Ministries co-executive secretary Vera 

Funk goes over their budget figures 
carefully with a calculator. 

The operating budget needs undergird- 
ing. (2) The facilities project is to have 
the major portion of funding in place 
before building. (3) The General Con- 
ference is considering a Development 
Plan at this summer's sessions in Sas- 
katoon. Part of it involves a fund-rais- 
ing strategy that hopefully will be- 
come an effort undertaken in Canada 
by GC, CMC and provincial conference 

To minimize budget cuts, CMC ad- 
ministrators were authorized to solicit 
corporate and private donations above 
regular church giving. 

Discussion indicated a readiness to 
go in with the GC Development Plan 
and use it to raise money for the facili- 
ties expansion. This, of course, must 
await the action taken at Saskatoon. 

To augment this process, a new stew- 
ardship development committee was 
voted into existence. Its task will be to 
work on overall stewardship, while the 

finance committee continues to care 
for the operating budget. 

The Congregational Resources Board 
reported it had been "too successful" 
with its new Every Home Plan empha- 
sis. Since offering free trial subscrip- 
tions to Mennonite Reporter in 1985 
and now offering subscriptions at heav- 
ily subsidized prices, they gained 
about 2,500 new subscribers. This was 
now causing a strain on the CRB 

CRB also reported that they were not 
going ahead with plans to phase in 
administrative and financial responsi- 
bility for Der Bote. The motion to do 
so, in their report, was defeated. Also 
mentioned was that the endorsement 
of Mennonite Reporter as the CMC 
conference vehicle has resulted in 
about a 20 percent drop of Canadian 
subscribers to The Mennonite. 

In an unusual turn, the 1986 Coun- 
cil of Boards was affected by two 
deaths. On Feb. 6 a special memorial 
service to Frank H. Epp (who died Jan. 
22) was programmed into the schedule. 
While this service was in progress, 
several people were called out and told 
that Gerhard Lohrenz, another confer- 
ence leader, had died suddenly. 

A budget of $1,834,153 in church 
giving— including the $120,000 in cor- 
porate and private gifts— was adopted 
for 1986. This is 8 percent above 1985 
receipts. Total operating budget was 
set at $3,217,165. 

The 1986 annual CMC sessions will 
be held July 3-8 at Wilfred Laurier 
University, Waterloo, Ont. Bernie 

82 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 

"Until you are affirmed, you have no 
power to make peace," say James and 
Kathleen McGinnis of St. Louis, educa- 
tors in Parenting for Peace and Jus- 
tice. Peace and conflict management 
begin at home and have global impli- 
cations. Intentionally prayerful and 
scripturally based, this concentration 
on parenting is, say the leaders, 
"God's call." Sixty-four people from 
eight denominations came together 
Jan. 24-26 at Bethel College, North 
Newton, Kan., for a leadership train- 
ing seminar led by the McGinnises. 
Every district and province of the Gen- 
eral Conference sent representatives. 

Habitat for Humanity project in Zaire 

When houses are dedicated in Zaire 
the event is called "an inauguration." 
Habitat for Humanity, to whom Gen- 
eral Conference missionaries Glen and 
Phyllis Boese are seconded by Africa 
Inter-Mennonite Mission, recently had 
six houses ready for occupation. In 
1985 each house cost 100-110,000 
Zaires. At 55Z to a dollar, the homes 
cost slightly under $2,000. 

Seminar focuses on 

Winnipeg— "Some of us don't want to 
acknowledge the problem," was the 
opinion of one participant at a seminar 
on pornography and sexual violence 
held here Jan. 25. This one-day event, 
sponsored by the peace and social con- 
cerns committee of MCC Manitoba, 
attracted about 100 people to the Fort 
Garry Mennonite Brethren Church. 

Representation was good from Gen- 
eral Conference and Mennonite Breth- 
ren circles, though some expressed 
disappointment in the lack of partici- 
pation by MB leaders. The presence of 
three black-suited Old Colony leaders 
from the Winkler, Man., area sparked 
interest on the part of many there and 
attested to the severity of the problem 
of sexual violence among Mennonites. 
One of these leaders, Abram Driedger, 
admitted that family violence among 
their church members and adherents 
was larger than the church leadership 
could handle, and they had come to 
listen and learn. 

The presentations and discussions 
throughout the day repeatedly re- 
turned to the roots of the problem, 
although not all could agree that por- 
nography and sexual violence were 
power issues. Liz Coffman opened the 
day's discussion with insights and 
information gained from her work 
with the Pornography Sub-Committee 
of the Manitoba Action Committee on 
the Status of Women. She pointed to 
the widespread availability of pornog- 
raphy in Winnipeg stores and outlined 
how this does violence to women. "It is 
an industry based on women's pain," 
she said, cautioning the audience to 
acknowledge that none are exempt 
from the effects of pornography, since 
the attitudes of subordination and 
exclusion of women that it portrays is 
part of all society. 

David Schroeder, professor at Cana- 
dian Mennonite Bible College, Winni- 

roots of pornography 

peg, outlined a theological perspective 
on the roots of pornography and sexual 
violence. According to Schroeder, a 
wrong understanding of creation is a 
major aspect of the problem. "If we do 
not understand creation properly we 
will not understand ourselves prop- 
erly." A misinterpretation of creation 
has led us to a misunderstanding of 
dominion, causing humans to exploit 
and rule over nature and other hu- 
mans. Schroeder cautioned that such 
an interpretation of dominion is a 
perversion, since "God never does vio- 
lence to the person he created." 

Three women spoke on the various 
faces of pornography and sexual vio- 
lence. Diana Brandt, graduate student 
in English, made the point that 
women do not have the language to 
speak against violence and domina- 
tion. "It is hard to learn to speak as a 
woman in the church because most of 
our words are men's words." Women 
must learn to speak of that which is 
female and "learn to defend the fragil- 
ity of the earth against those who seek 
to dominate." According to Brandt, 
those who use the language of domina- 
tion have the same motive as the por- 
nographer. Brandt's presentation 
created much discussion that repre- 
sented a wide range of perspectives, 
but also underlined her main point, as 
in the statement of one woman who 
responded, "I would like to speak for 
the women who are not speaking." 

Jane Ursel, who works for the Mani- 
toba government in the area of family 
violence, gave hard facts on the grow- 
ing reports of abuse in Manitoba. 
Since 1983, 4,000 people have been 
charged with domestic assault, 95 
percent of them men. Ursel discounted 
the common myths around abuse 
(abusers abuse because they are 
abused, and victims seek out violence) 
and characterized those who abuse as 

and violence 

"highly dependent on their spouses 
emotionally . . . they feel their life is 
out of control, and they abuse to feel in 

In her treatment of media pornogra- 
phy, Margaret Loewen Reimer, associ- 
ate editor of Mennonite Reporter, 
focused on the assumptions and con- 
nections in mass media. She argued 
that the "urge toward violence is a 
basic human condition," and as hu- 
mans we must learn to deal with it. 
Television portrays violence in fuzzy 
terms and has perverted violence to 
the extent where good and evil can no 
longer be identified. Reimer pointed 
out that television as a medium is 
more violent than its content, because 
of its mind-numbing quality. 

Moderator John H. Neufeld led three 
panelists in a discussion of how the 
reality of pornography and sexual vio- 
lence is encountered in our churches. 
The audience listened attentively to 
the perspectives of counselor Mary 
Regehr and youth worker Abe Bergen, 
and paid special attention to the expe- 
riences of Martha Bergmann as past 
coordinator of the Morden/Winkler 
Committee on Family Violence. She 
spoke of the struggle her group under- 
went to become established in that 
predominantly Mennonite area, and 
the pain of the abused women when 
their churches told them to "go home 
and be a better wife." Bergmann and 
others in the audience testified to the 
high incidence of incest and wife abuse 
in southern Manitoba and attitudes 
common to some that "fathers have 
the right to break in their daughters." 

James Pankratz identified the topic 
as one of violence through misuse of 
male power: "Why do we make this a 
women's issue . . . it's not. I'm a man 
and we are the problem ... we must 
be part of the solution." Brenda 


Manitoba Choice Resources' John 
Whitehead now has an account in the 
Winnipeg airport. There had been no 
Choice Books racks in Canadian air- 
ports previously. Northern District 
Choice Books honored volunteer Lois 
Roberton, who has serviced the Choice 
Books rack at Miller (S.D.) Rexall 
Drug for five years. 

Central America Week, a time for 
North American Christians to think 
about and pray for peace in Central 
America, is scheduled for March 16-24. 
The theme for the week is "The Hope 
for Peace in Central America." Packets 
for the week that include suggestions 
for worship, a poster, fact sheet on 
refugees, annotated listing of resources 
produced by various church groups on 
Central America and other informa- 
tion are available for $3.50 each from 
Inter-Religious Task Force on Central 
America, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 
563, New York, NY 10115. 

Adult advocates for youth in Menno- 
nite congregations are slipping down 
on the job, say Lavon Welty, associate 
secretary for Congregational Youth 
Ministries of the Mennonite Board of 
Congregational Resources, and Daniel 
Schipani, professor of Christian educa- 
tion and personality at Associated 
Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, 
Elkhart, Ind. Their grant application 
has been approved to study why in- 
volvement in the Mennonite Church's 
Life Planning Program has waned in 
the last few years. The main weak link 
in the program, they say from prelimi- 
nary findings, "is the adult who serves 
as the youth's advocate." 

MCC explores connection between hunger and militarism 

Denver (Meetinghouse)— Concern about 
a decision to ship less food and lengthy 
discussions about war taxes and evan- 
gelism highlighted the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 
Mennonite Central Committee annual 
meeting here. 

Board members learned that MCC 
shipped a record 36,000 metric tonnes 
of aid— much of it to Ethiopia and Su- 
dan—last year but that staff expect to 
send less in 1986. "The rains have 
come to Africa," said disaster coordi- 
nator Paul Myers, explaining the 

He added that the presence of large 
amounts of relief money, raised by 
groups such as Live Aid, figured in 
MCC's decision. 

Some board members quickly voiced 
their concern. "Are we telling our 
supporters to give less?" asked MCC 
Canada representative Siegfried Bar- 
tel. The answer, Myers responded, is a 
qualified yes. "We need less food now 
than we did in the last two years," he 
said, noting that MCC would be pre- 
pared to send more if a disaster occurs. 

In discussing African relief efforts, 
the board was reminded that the con- 
nection between hunger and warfare is 
"no longer a matter of debate." But 
the issue of paying taxes which sup- 
port increased militarization is a mat- 
ter of considerable— and painful- 

Discussion about payment of U.S. 
federal income taxes used for military 
purposes— or "war taxes"— was 
prompted by a request from four MCC 
Akron employees who asked MCC to 
stop forwarding the portion of their 
income taxes which go for military 
spending. In letters last year to the 
executive committee, the four cited 
deployment of missiles in Europe, U.S. 
funds for war in Central America, 
MCC's support of conscientious objec- 
tion during the Vietnam War and the 

Paul Myers, MCC South Asia secretary, 

recognizes Rosella Toews, who has served 

for 36 years in Asia. 

deaths of friends killed by American- 
made weapons as basis for the request. 

A tax withholding task force re- 
ported to the board that, after discus- 
sions with eight Mennonite and Breth- 
ren in Christ conferences, "no group 
counseled MCC to honor the requests." 
MCC Canada indicated that payment 
of military taxes is not an issue among 
Canadians "at this time." The task 
force recommended that MCC "con- 
tinue to withhold and forward taxes to 
the (U.S.) government." 

Possible penalties for not forwarding 
an employee's tax include the amount 
plus interest, a $10,000 fine and/or five 
years imprisonment. 

Board member Phil Rich, who served 
on the task force, emphasized that 
conference leaders "agonized" over the 
decision and observed that "none of 
the groups said that civil disobedience 
is absolutely wrong." Some of the lead- 
ers, he indicated, "are in favor but do 
not think their people will go along." 

He also noted that most conferences 
are open to dealing with the issue in 
the future. 

During a lengthy discussion, board 
members wrestled with the issue. Ray 
Brubacher, a Canadian, indicated that 
his church allows him to withhold the 
military portion of his income tax. "I 
cannot," he said, "vote against their 
request if I can [have taxes not with- 

held] myself. I don't want to vote 
against the constituency, but I cannot 
vote against my conscience." 

Larry Kehler of the General Confer- 
ence noted that his denomination had 
decided in 1983 not to forward the tax 
of individuals who had made such a 
request. As a member of that confer- 
ence, he indicated that he "could not 
vote for the recommendation." Both 
said that their vote would be made 
with "much pain." 

Other board members shared their 
pain but agreed with MCC Canada 
representative Ross Nigh that "we are 
bound by the process. We went to the 
conferences in good faith, and not one 
recommended that we withhold taxes. 
In the interest of the wider brother- 
hood, we must vote for it." The recom- 
mendation passed with four against 
and two abstentions. 

The board also passed recommenda- 
tions that affirm the four and others 
who make a similar request and that 
encourage MCC to find ways for them 
to resist payment legally. Staff were 
also encouraged to increase efforts to 
educate the churches about the rela- 
tionship between militarism, hunger, 
development and refugees. 

The task force also suggested that 
MCC and the conferences hold a study 
conference on church/state issues. 

In a prepared response, Earl Martin 
read a statement on behalf of the four 
that expressed appreciation for the 
process and deliberation but appealed 
to the conferences to discuss the issue 
at their next annual conventions. The 
four also asked MCC to help facilitate 
the discussion and invited the confer- 
ences to report their findings at the 
1988 MCC annual meeting. 

Martin also pointed out that while 
U.S. members of MCC's seven constitu- 
ent conferences donated $9.4 million to 
continued on p. 85 

84 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 



biblicAl semInarIes EdiTioN 

February 25, 1986 

Faith of our youth: a preliminary report 

Jerry Holsopple and Phil Yoder 

How important are parents in the 
transference of faith and moral behav- 
ior patterns? A majority of youth in 
Mennonite churches (MC and GO in 
the United States say that their par- 
ents are "the most important for help- 
ing make moral decisions." 

In a survey we conducted as part of 
an independent study at seminary, 55 
percent of the youth ranked parents 
number one, and another 35 percent 
ranked parents in second or third 
place. This is only one indication of 
the important role parents play in the 
future of their children and in the 
future of the church. 

The survey, which we are in the pro- 
cess of analyzing, was designed to give 
us a picture of some of the factors that 
go into the socialization process of 
Mennonite youth. From the survey we 
expect to derive a picture of what the 
average high school student attending 
a Mennonite church is like and what 
their parents are like. 

The survey was administered to 234 
high school youth and one parent of 
each, representing a return rate of 67 
percent of the scientifically chosen 
sample. Eight percent of the unre- 
turned sample— ready for mailing- 
burned in the church at Freeman, 
S.D., when it went up in flames last 
fall. The sample area covers both the 
General Conference and Mennonite 
Church youth and parents in the 
United States. 

We measured beliefs, opinions, be- 
haviors and some lifestyle demograph- 
ics. We hope to see, as we tabulate 
responses, the effect of factors such as 
family devotions, personal spiritual 
habits, church and youth fellowship 
attendance patterns and giving pat- 
terns in their relationship to beliefs 
and knowledge of the Bible. The re- 

Holsopple Yoder 

spondents were asked a number of 
biblical literacy questions. For exam- 
ple, they were asked to identify the 
location of the Easter story in the Bi- 
ble from the choices of Genesis, John, 
Acts or Revelation. Seventy percent of 
the youth and 86 percent of the par- 
ents answered correctly. 

We also were interested in how the 
youth and parents deal with some of 
the traditional Mennonite beliefs and 
if they are familiar with Mennonite 
history. The respondents were asked to 
identify the leaders of the Anabaptist 
Reformation from the choices of Menno 
Simons, Martin Luther, Thomas 
Aquinas and Hans Hut. Only 44 per- 
cent of the youth and 56 percent of the 
parents differentiated between Menno 
Simons and Martin Luther. Has 
Luther become Anabaptist? Fifteen 
percent of the youth did not choose 
Menno Simons at all. 

Parents have differing ideas of what 
they want to pass on to their children. 
Twenty-eight percent want to pass on 
faith, 19 percent the knowledge of God 
and 15 percent love and acceptance. 
Twenty-three percent of the surveyed 
youth have trouble getting along with 
their father. Thirty-two percent of the 
parents have attended graduate school; 
63 percent are somewhere in their 40s. 

(These statistics seem to indicate that 
we are becoming more a part of mod- 
ern society.) Forty-five percent of the 
families have moved in the last 10 
years but only 14 percent of the fami- 
lies currently live in cities bigger than 

Other topics that we are studying in 
this project are drug and alcohol use 
among parents and youth, dating (55 
percent do not or rarely date), sexual 
practices and school and youth fellow- 
ship activities (68 percent participate 
in sports, 64 percent in school music 
programs and 73 percent in youth 
fellowship three or more times a 
month). We will also tabulate views on 
issues such as divorce, abortion and 
homosexuality. We will examine the 
influence of media on values and the 
actual amount and type of consump- 
tion of TV, music and movies (25 per- 
cent of youth and 41 percent of the 
parents think TV and movies show too 
much violence). 

We also want to know how affluence 
and use of money has affected the 
Mennonite family and traditional Men- 
nonite values. The median range in- 
come of the families of high school 
students in the Mennonite church is 

The survey contains approximately 
200 questions for the youth and 200 
for the father or mother. Robert Ram- 
seyer is the advising professor, and 
Duane Kaufman, a psychology profes- 
sor at Goshen (Ind.) College, has 
served as a consultant for the survey 
design and implementation. We under- 
took the project in January 1985. 

The project expenses are being 
funded by a Shalom Funds grant from 
Mennonite Mutual Aid. We are now 
completing tabulations and correla- 

continued on next page 


Closeup: Why I teach at AMBS 

As one who is trained to look for the 
dramatic, for that which is vivid, it 
saddens me deeply to hear the superb 
story of the gospel, the fantastic yet 
vivid story of God's people mumbled in 
an uninteresting way from the pulpit. 
We have a superlative message but 
have a packaging problem. 

It never occurred to me that I might 
some day teach at a seminary. I bring 
to my teaching not the ears of one 
highly trained in theology, but rather 
the ears of the people in the pew. My 
training and skills in public speaking 

give me some techniques for helping 
students become more effective com- 
municators of the gospel. 

Working with Erland Waltner these 
past few years has been exciting as we 
put together our different strengths. 
Erland's biblical knowledge and expe- 
rience in preaching are strong assets 
to the program. 

I have never preached a three-point 
sermon; however, three "p" words come 
to mind of what every preacher should 
have— prayer, purpose, passion. June 
AH i man Yoder 


Why I came to AMBS: a survey 

What do students say brought them to 
AMBS? Eighty students responded to 
a survey I did last fall. Ten checked 
Anabaptist emphasis, 10— family or 
friend, 9— AMBS student or alumnus 
and 9— faculty writings or contacts. 

Overall the most important factors 
were (1) the awareness of our Anabap- 
tist emphasis and the influence of the 
faculty, (2) the persuasion of a friend, 
family member, alumnus, student or a 
church leader and (3) encouragement 
from one's pastor or congregation. 
Campus visits, contact with admission 
staff and the impact of printed mate- 
rial were less important. 

When did you decide? Twenty people 
made their decision to attend semi- 
nary at ages 20-24, 31 at ages 25-29, 
11 at ages 30-34, nine at ages 35-39 
and 13 were above 40. Surprisingly, 
only two people said that their deci- 
sion to come to seminary was made 
before age 20. The evidence says that 
few had definite plans to prepare for 
ministry until some years beyond the 

Faith of our youth 


tions and anticipate having results 
available by this fall. 

We are convinced of the strong role 
that parents play in faith transference. 
We are also convinced that this is not 
something that just happens but is the 
product of parents consciously living 
out their faith in such a way as to be a 
positive example of faith. Fifty -nine 
percent of the youth said that their 
parents were the most important in 
helping them acquire their religious 
beliefs. We are deliberately looking at 
the reported behavior of the youth and 
parents since we believe that behavior 
is an important index of the person's 
beliefs. Thanks to all the youth, par- 
ents, church leaders and others who 
have made this survey possible. 

normal college age span. 

Where was the decision made? 
Twenty-seven indicated that they were 
already involved in some form of 
church work either in congregations, 
church schools or MCC assignments, 
or were concerned for missions. 
Twenty-six others processed their deci- 
sion in the context of the congregation 
(many of these were in small groups or 
small church fellowships) or while 
doing undergraduate studies. Twelve 
of the latter reflect the influence of a 
Mennonite college. 

Source of affirmation and support. 
Thirty-two said their congregation or 
conference was involved in their deci- 
sion to come to AMBS and helped with 
financial aid. On the other hand, 17 
indicated that they received no affir- 
mation or support in their decision, 
with half of them feeling they were 
actually discouraged in the process. 
Many of these replies came more as a 
lament than a criticism or judgment. 
One student wrote, "It would be won- 
derful to have a congregation backing 
me financially, affirming my gifts and 
call in this way." 

Suggestions. Seventeen students 
wished for congregation or conference 
help in discerning the call and for 
being more open and positive about 
the need for leaders. One person men- 
tioned the need for more intentional 
gift discernment, while another called 
for being more positive about theologi- 
cal education. Sixteen focused more on 
the need for financial assistance while 
preparing to serve the church. 

Because I am a woman. One student, 
whose gifts are already being widely 
used in Christian education work, 
speaks for others: "Perhaps because I 
am a woman, I experienced very little 
encouragement from 'official' groups. 
In fact, I would say that both the con- 
gregation and conference— in recent 
years— were discouraging me from 
further development that would in- 

volve spiritual leadership. Had I not 
sensed a strong inner calling, I would 
not have considered coming." 

Another student said, "I feel our 
churches (i.e. local congregations and 
pastors as well as conference-level 
leadership) need consciousness-raising 
on the importance of affirming and 
discerning gifts, then following 
through with encouragement and fi- 
nancial support." Most students, I 
believe, would 

agree with the 
comment, "I am 
very, very grate- 
ful for my years 
of work at 
AMBS. I shall be 
a good advocate 
of our programs 
here." Jim 

sions counselor 

Off campus 

LeRoy Friesen will participate as a 
respondent in the March 1-5 Menno- 
nite Health Association convention in 
Denver. He will be the speaker for the 
Central District Conference (GO and a 
workshop leader on Shalom Theology 
at the SCUPE Urban Congress in 

Roelf Kuitse, accompanied by his 
wife, Juliette, will visit Mennonite 
workers in east and southern Africa on 
a four-month visit, beginning in mid- 
February, on behalf of Mennonite Cen- 
tral Committee and Mennonite mis- 
sion boards. He plans to teach on the 
relationship between Islam and Chris- 
tianity and make individual visits 
with workers and with leaders in Afri- 
can Independent Churches. "I look 
forward to meeting former students 
who are now working in Africa." 

Willard Swartley will serve Menno- 
continued on next page 


FEBRUARY 25, 1986 

Seminary children lead Christmas chapel 

The annual Christmas chapel by the 
children in the seminary community 
has become a tradition. Behind the 
scenes is a story of how Christmas has 
come to campus every day of the school 

Children of seminary families can be 
enrolled in the AMBS Parents' Cooper- 
ative Nursery, which offers day-time 
care for children during class hours. 
Last semester an average of 35 chil- 
dren were enrolled. 

The nursery moved in late 1985 from 
basement rooms to remodeled quarters 
in a ground-level four-plex apartment. 
The renovated facility offers enlarged 
floor space, play room, crib room, stor- 
age, kitchen facilities and laundry, and 
is conveniently located to an outdoor 
play area. While AMBS provides the 
space, the parents' cooperative is re- 

Publishing note 

Millard Lind's review of Norbert 
Lohfink's, Gewalt und Gewaltlosiqkeit 
im Alten Testament (Freiberg, Basel, 
Wien: Herder, 1983) will appear in the 
Journal of Mennonite Studies, Univer- 
sity of Winnipeg. 

nite conferences and congregations in 
Pennsylvania February through May. 
On a service-teaching leave, he is be- 
ing employed by the Inter-Conference 
Pastoral Training Board of Lancaster, 
Franconia and Atlantic Coast 

Erland Waltner and June A. Yoder 
gave a workshop on preaching Feb. 21- 
23 at Leamington, Ont. (postponed 
from January). Waltner will partici- 
pate in the MHA convention at Denver 
March 1-5, and will give the com- 
mencement address at Mennonite 
Brethren Bible College, Winnipeg, 
April 27. 

sponsible for renovation and operation 
costs. A major gift for renovations was 
provided by Women in Mission of the 
General Conference Mennonite 
Church. Additional funding is needed. 

The staff includes three part-time 
teachers— Tanneken Fros (head 
teacher), Esther Wiebe and Bertie 
Horst. Volunteers help in caring for 
the children and in taking turns clean- 

ing and providing snacks. 

The nursery committee sees its pro- 
gram as a service not only to parents 
but for the whole seminary commu- 
nity, say operations coordinators Ann 
and Randy Smith, whose children, 
Mark and Rachel, are enrolled. They 
underscore that the nursery "helps 
relieve the stresses on students and 
working spouses." 

Campus calendar 

March 21-22— Friendship Evangelism Workshop with Art McPhee. Contact 
Robert Ramseyer. 

April 8-11— Congress on Urban Ministry, Chicago, offers continuing education 
for congregational and church leaders, educators, urban agency staff and anyone 
interested in the urban church. The theme of the fifth national Congress is 
"Spirituality and Social Justice: An Essential Relationship for Urban Ministry." 
AMBS student Sally Schreiner serves as Congress administrative assistant. For 
brochure and registration information, write: Congress on Urban Ministry, 
SCUPE, 30 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60610, or call (312) 944-2153. Early 
registration fee, postmarked by March 30, is $90; after that date the fee is $120. 

April 10-14— AMBS choir tour to Ontario churches 

April 24-25— Vincent Harding, professor at Iliff School of Theology, Denver, 
currently on sabbatical at Swathmore (Pa.) College, will give the annual Theo- 
logical Lectureship at AMBS. 

April 28-May 30— Ralph Lebold, president of Conrad Grebel College, theologi- 
cal center guest. 

May 4— Vesper service led by the AMBS choir, 4 p.m. 

May 11— Vesper service by Georges Aubert, organist, 4 p.m. 

May 30— Orlando Costas, dean of Andover-Newton Theological School, Newton 
Center, Mass., will give the commencement address at graduation exercises to be 
held at Caanan Baptist Church, Elkhart, Ind. » 


Sawatzky heads field education 

New faculty 
member Erick J. 
Sawatzky from 
Saskatoon as- 
sumed duties as 
director of field 
education Jan. 1. 
He will oversee 
an expanded role 
for internships in 
pastoral minis- 

try, a move that 
grows out of recommendations made 
by the inter-Mennonite Theological 

Education Committee appointed by 
Mennonite Board of Education. 

"Training for ministry involves more 
than skills development. I see field 
education as the prime setting in 
which to learn how to put people 
ahead of ideas and how to deepen 
awareness of what makes people and 
the church grow toward social, emo- 
tional and spiritual maturity." 

AMBS and Eastern Mennonite Semi- 
nary, Harrisonburg, Va., are develop- 
ing a three-year pilot project in which 
the three seminaries would annually 

place three students in yearlong pasto- 
ral internships. 

For the past five years Sawatzky 
worked as executive director of the 
Saskatoon Pastoral Institute. He has 
held various professional posts, cur- 
rently serving as a member of the 
Commission on Education (GO and 
the National Board of Directors of the 
Canadian Association for Pastoral 

Sawatzky and his wife, Beverley 
(Boldt), are the parents of two children, 
Tyler (12) and Tamara (9). 

Pastors welcome intense study 

A January stretch at AMBS has be- 
come a tradition for General Confer- 
ence pastors and spouses who 
participate in the Ministerial Leader- 
ship Services-sponsored study rotation. 
Participants enroll in one of the regu- 
larly scheduled three-week interterm 
courses and some stay on for the an- 
nual Pastors' Week. 

While the course work for credit or 
audit is the primary reason for coming 
to campus, forums, chapels, spiritual 
life disciplines and group interaction 
in living together are also highly 
rated, says John Esau, director of Min- 
isterial Leadership Services for the 
General Conference. 

One pastor said the group's Wednes- 
day evening meetings "were a good 
way to get everyone involved together." 
He added, "I especially enjoyed expo- 
sure to Canadian perspectives." 

Another pastor said the rigors of in- 
depth study "left me in a state of 
shock for a couple of days," yet "slowly 
the discipline of intense study came 
back." He added, "The course ["War 
and Peace in the Bible"] has been a 
fabulous experience of tracing the 
theme of war and peace from Genesis 
to Revelation. It has also given me an 
opportunity to work at a study project 
which will directly affect our next 
ministry assignment (flags in the 

A spouse said, "My experience with 
'Gospel of John' by Gertrude Roten 
was very good. Her emphasis on class 
participation and the interaction of the 
24 students added a great deal to 
learning. She, however, as a personal- 
ity giving herself openly and fully to 
the task at hand, will be a motivating 
factor beyond all the words said." 

Sixteen pastors and spouses partici- 
pated this year. Six came from Canada 
and one from Taiwan. Three pastors 
were women: Katherine Lue, Mary 
Beth Steuben and Helen Quintela. 
Katherine Lue and her husband, 

Harold, are spending a year in the 
United States so Harold can take fur- 
ther training in hospital administra- 
tion. Mary Beth, an AMBS graduate, 
is in her first year of pastoring Spo- 
kane (Wash.) Mennonite Fellowship. 
Helen, a student at United Theological 
Seminaries, St. Paul, Minn., was li- 
censed and installed in early February 
as pastor of a new Mennonite congre- 
gation in St. Paul. 

Costs for the study rotation are 
pooled in a fund to which each partici- 
pant gives $125, with a matching 
amount each from the congregation 
and conference. Women in Mission 
contribute to support spouses, and 
other support comes from the GC Min- 
isterial Leadership Support budget. 
Mennonite Biblical Seminary, the GC 
partner in AMBS, provides full tuition 
grants. John Bender 

Participants in the 1986 Pastor/Spouse Study Rotation included (front, from left) Harold, 
(behind) Jessica and Katherine Lue, Taiwan Mennonite Church; Frank and Helen Klassen, 
Elim Mennonite Church, Grunthal, Man.; Peter Lin, Houston (Texas) Chinese Mennonite 
Church; John A. Esau, Ministerial Leadership Services of the General Conference 
Mennonite Church, Newton, Kan.; (second row, second person) Mary Beth Stueben, Spokane 
(Wash.) Mennonite Fellowship; Lola and Leo Miller, Meadows (III.) Mennonite Church; Sally 
and (behind) David Block, Congerville (III.) Mennonite Church; (third and top row) John 
Heyerly Houston (Texas) Mennonite Church; Susan and (top) Frank Isaac, Springfield 
Heights Mennonite Church, Winnipeg; Marlin Kym, Portland (Ore.) Mennonite Church; 
Stephen, Sue and David Neufeld, North Battleford (Sask.) Mennonite Church. Not shown: 
Helen Quintella, St. Paul (Minn.) Mennonite Fellowship. 


FEBRUARY 25, 1986 

Underground nuclear weapons 
testing has increased one-third under 
the Reagan administration, and as 
many as 19 of these tests were not 
publicly announced, a report by the 
Natural Resources Defense Council, a 
non-profit research group, revealed in 
January. The NRDC report, based on 
seismic data and research by the Law- 
rence Livermore National Laboratory, 
offers the first documentation of U.S. 
testing since the Reagan administra- 
tion began conducting secret weapons 
tests in 1982. The administration has 
said that between 1980 and 1984 it 
conducted 82 underground weapons 

The Nov. 27, 1985, edition of the Buf- 
falo (N.Y.) News gave an account of a 
man who "will spend up to a year in 
jail for criminally negligent homicide 
in the deaths of five Cape Vincent 
teenagers killed July 25, 1984, when 
his car struck them on the side of a 
road." Two pages later in that same 
newspaper appeared a report about a 
man ordered by an Erie County judge 
"to serve a prison term of 18 months 
to 4V2 years for stealing about 10 
pounds of chicken wings worth $5 from 
his neighbor's freezer." 

Only 60 percent of U.S. workers who 
lost their jobs because of plant closings 
or relocations from 1979 to 1984 found 
new jobs during that time, a congres- 
sional study released Feb. 6 reported. 
The study faulted the lack of govern- 
ment job retraining efforts for the low 
employment statistics and indicated 
that the problem of displaced indus- 
trial workers is more serious than the 
government has previously estimated. 

MCC U.S. passes resolutions about farm crisis, minorities 

Denver (Meetinghouse)— With a 
largely urban service program, it was 
appropriate that the MCC U.S. annual 
meeting occur in Denver's Inner City 
Parish, an ecumenical urban ministry 
project supported by Denver Menno- 
nites. While staff and board deliber- 
ated inside, minority high school 
students met in a special class for 
dropouts upstairs, and old men pushed 
shopping carts down the street, pick- 
ing up pop bottles and beer cans. 

MCC in 1984, they paid an estimated 
$159 million in military taxes. Approx- 
imately $880,000 was paid during the 
course of the two-day meeting. 

Martin touched on another issue 
that occupied the board when he said 
that "we have listened to representa- 
tives from our North American confer- 
ences. Have we also listened to our 
Christian brothers and sisters (around 
the world)?" 

Earlier in the meeting Eugene Seals 
of the Mennonite Church asked if 
MCC had a "clear policy about evange- 
lism ... or do we have 900 different 
interpretations?" Executive secretary 
John Lapp quickly defended volun- 
teers, saying that all are "active 
evangelists." Others wondered if ap- 
propriate methods of "verbal witness" 
were being taught in orientation, and 
one asked if volunteers had a "clear 
understanding of faith." 

In response to the queries, Phil Rich, 
who recently visited MCC volunteers 
in Central America, said that "we may 
want to know if they are overtly Chris- 
tian, but they want to know what we 
are about. Are we willing to listen to 
what they have to teach us about shar- 
ing the faith? Volunteers are trying to 
speak to us. I have a feeling that we 
are not willing to listen." John 

The scene was low-income urban, but 
the plight of farmers was never far 
from board members' minds. The 
board passed a proposal from the MCC 
U.S. farm task force that asked MCC 
U.S. to take leadership in developing a 
position for a resource person who will 
work on the U.S. farm crisis. Funding 
will be provided by Mennonite Mutual 
Aid, MCC and Mennonite Economic 
Development Associates. 

Focus of the position will be to assist 
farmers and farm community people 
who have or will lose the right to farm 
and/or employment because of the 
farm crisis. Emphasis will be on job 
retraining and relocation. 

MCC U.S. executive secretary 
Wilmer Heisey, asked whether efforts 
will also be made to assist urban resi- 
dents facing loss of businesses or em- 
ployment, responded that "the urban 
implications of this discussion about 
the farm have been there since the 
beginning." He indicated that the farm 
crisis is the "catalyst" for the MCC 
U.S. response to economic difficulties. 
"It will be interesting to see where 
this has gone in 10 years," he added. 

Board member Juan Martinez, a 
pastor in California's San Joaquin 
Valley, reminded the board to remem- 
ber tbe plight of farm workers, many 
of whom are from minority groups. "A 
farmer may lose his land," he said, 
"but before that he fires his workers." 

The board did have occasion to ex- 
press its desire to be mindful of minor- 
ities when it passed a resolution 
advocating closer contact with mem- 
bers of the Hispanic Mennonite com- 
munity. The need for the resolution 
followed a breakdown in communica- 
tion between MCC U.S. and Hispanic 
leaders over the proposed move of the 
Refugee and Immigration Office from 
Washington to Akron, Pa. MCC U.S. 
was asked by Hispanic leaders to 

reconsider the decision, which was 
made in an effort to streamline admin- 
istration costs. MCC U.S. staff will 
have further discussions with Hispanic 
representatives and report to the April 
executive committee meeting. 

The board approved a resolution that 
MCC U.S. consult the Hispanic com- 
munity "when a major policy issue" 
that affects that community comes 
before the board, that MCC U.S. staff 
strengthen contacts with the Hispanic 
community and that the Hispanic 
community initiate closer contacts 
with MCC U.S. 

The resolution also has implications 
for other minorities, the board agreed. 

In a reflection on the one-day meet- 
ing, Norman Shenk of the Lancaster 
Conference thanked staff for good re- 
porting but wondered whether the 
format could be changed to facilitate 
more board participation. "Should we 
not be dealing with difficult and con- 
troversial issues?" he asked. "Is this 
the forum where we can address struc- 
tural issues?" Later he said that the 
board needs "time to respond, not just 
to absorb." 

Issues raised by board members in- 
cluded MCC U.S. policy on Sanctuary, 
a concern about the commercialization 
of SELFHELP, civil disobedience and 
the role of MCC U.S. Peace Section. 
There was not enough time to pursue 
the issues and concerns. 

The board passed a 1986 budget of 
$3,117,400, a 15 percent increase over 
last year. Budgetary tensions noted by 
staff are the costs of placing a family 
in a VS unit and the hard choices be- 
tween placing a volunteer in an in- 
come-generating activity or a service 
activity that MCC U.S. must support. 
This tension is compounded by the fact 
that the agencies which most need 
volunteers frequently cannot afford 
volunteers. John Longhurst 


A 64-page supplementary hymn- 
book, targeted for publication this 
year, has been reviewed by the Fellow- 
ship of Mennonite Churches in Tai- 
wan. Hymns translated from The Men- 
nonite Hymnal include "Praise God 
from Whom," number 606. It will also 
include indigenous Taiwanese music. 

As a result of the increasing use of 
paper products in Bangladesh and the 
potential for recycling this paper, 
Mennonite Central Committee Job 
Creation staff there are developing a 
paper-making project. This project is 
located at Feni, a town where unem- 
ployment is especially high. MCC 
workers are making plans to help 
build a small factory there to produce 
paper from old scrap paper. David An- 
derson, MCC Job Creation administra- 
tor in Dhaka, envisions a plant that 
will employ 118 poor people, many of 
them women. 

Peter Hall, Anglican Bishop of Wool- 
wich, told the third national gathering 
of Evangelical Peacemakers Nov. 9, 
1985, that evangelicals must work 
harder at witnessing for peace in the 
larger society. Among the 250 partici- 
pants were Anglican priests, Baptist 
preachers, Pentecostals, Quakers, Hut- 
terian Brethren and Mennonites. 
Evangelical Peacemakers is a network 
of Christians strongly opposed to the 
nuclear arms race. Members believe 
their efforts to bring about peace must 
be based on prayer, a commitment to 
Jesus and worship with other Chris- 

FOMCIT becomes equal partner in hospital operation 

Taipei, Taiwan— The Fellowship of 
Mennonite Churches in Taiwan 
(FOMCIT) met for its 28th annual 
conference Jan. 26-28 at the Wesley 
retreat grounds in the mountains just 
north of Taipei. Forty-one delegates 
from 16 churches registered, with 
about a dozen observers and visitors 
also attending. 

A resolution making FOMCIT an 
equal partner in the operation of the 
Mennonite Christian Hospital was the 
major decision of the conference. For 
several years both the General Confer- 
ence Mennonite Mission and FOMCIT 
have elected members to the board of 
directors, but only the mission held 
the right of veto over board decisions. 
Two years ago the mission took action 
inviting FOMCIT to become an equal 

In related action the conference body 
approved the proposal of the FOMCIT 
executive committee and the mission 
to register the hospital as a separate 
legal entity. Until now the hospital 
has been registered under the legal 
name of FOMCIT, which is under the 
Ministry of Interior. The new registra- 
tion will bring the hospital under the 
National Health Bureau. This move 
conforms to new government regula- 

In a brief ceremony Simon Wung, 
pastor of the Hsi-tun Church, Tai- 
chung, was given a plaque in recogni- 
tion of his 20 years of pastoral 
leadership in the conference. Wung 
has pastored the Hsi-tun Church since 
his graduation from seminary in 1965. 
Present membership is 101 active 
members— the largest in the confer- 
ence. In recent years he has organized 
and developed small groups in the 
congregation and has also been in- 
volved in the Evangelism Explosion 
program in Taiwan. 

In addition to the business sessions, 

reports were given by the various com- 
mittees and churches. Fourteen 
churches reported slight membership 
increases during the year. Present 
membership stands at 1,164, with 858 
listed as active members. Financially, 
12 churches reported some increase in 

Lin-Sen Road Church in Taichung, 
the first organized Mennonite church 
in Taiwan, celebrated its 30th anniver- 
sary in March. Two churches, Sung- 
chiang Church and Te-un (Grace) 
Church in Taipei, moved into new fa- 
cilities, which were purchased with the 
aid of CES loans from the General 

A goal to increase membership to 
2,500 by the year 2000 was accepted. 
The delegates also agreed to decrease 
on a yearly basis the subsidy asking 
from the Commission on Overseas 
Mission. For 1985 FOMCIT received 
$25,250, which was used for the sup- 
port of churches, social concerns pro- 
jects, seminary student education, 
retreats and publications. For 1986 
FOMCIT will assume responsibility for 
seminary students. 

Delegates also discussed pastoral 
leadership training and considered 

Principal needed 

The executive committee of Freeman 
Academy, an inter-Mennonite junior-senior high 
school in Freeman, S.D., is seeking applicants 
for the position of principal. This position, 
including responsibilities as chief executive 
officer, opens July 1 . 

For further details contact: 
La Verne Graber 

Chairman of the Board of Directors 
Route 2 
Box 187 

Freeman, SD 57029 
(605) 925-7782. 

Delegates to the 1986 FOMCIT annual 

conference listen to chairman's report. 

ways to encourage young people to 
prepare for Christian ministry. There 
was also considerable discussion of 
how to strengthen the churches. Some 
of these issues will be discussed with 
John Sommer, COM secretary for Asia, 
when he visits Taiwan in May. Verney 

Job opening 

Lakewood Retreat Center has a full-time head 
cook/food service position open. Lakewood is a 
Christian retreat and camp conference center 
owned and operated as an arm of the 
Mennonite Church. Lakewood is located half 
way between Brooksville and Dade City, Fla. 

For more information, call or write: 
Lakewood Retreat Center 
c/o Terry Burkhalter 
25458 Dan Brown Hill Road 
Brooksville, FL 33512 
(904) 796-4097. 

Help needed 

Swift Current Bible Institute is now receiving 
applications for the following positions: 
principal, beginning in June, 
administrative assistant, beginning in May, 
teachers, beginning in September. 

Please send all applications and inquiries to: 

Attention: Personnel Committee 
Box 1268 

Swift Current, SK S9H 3X4. 

86 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 

Menno Simons Center in Witmar- 
sum, Netherlands, in cooperation with 
the Frisian Mennonite Conference and 
the board of the Mennonite Church in 
Witmarsum, where Menno Simons was 
born, plan to commemorate 450 years 
since Menno Simons left the Roman 
Catholic Church and joined the Ana- 
baptists. The celebration, scheduled for 
May 25, will include the play 
"Strength in Weakness." The center is 
asking for photos related to anything 
named after Friesland, Witmarsum, 
Menno or Menno Simons. These are 
for an exposition. Send to Mrs. C. J. 
Tjallingii, Wederik 35, 8446 AA 
Heerenveen, Netherlands, by April 1. 

Frank H. Epp: a tribute 

More than almost anyone I have 
known, Frank Epp was a mission- 
ary—the very model of an evangelist 
most intrepid. He came to us so 
forthrightly in his editorials, in his 
books and in his lectures to tell our 
story and its meaning to those who 
had forgotten it or who, remember- 
ing their birthright, had failed to 
claim it. 

But he went out also as an evan- 
gelist and reconciler to so many 
others— to the peoples of the Middle 
East and Vietnam, to students and 
to the refugees of the world, often 
by himself when we were slow to 
catch his vision. 

He was a doer in a generation 
short on daring. He invested himself 
in bringing the world under the 
rule of Christ and changing it be- 
cause that was God's work and his 
work too. 

With amazing and consuming 
passion, he was the missionary, 
evangelist and miracle worker sent 
to us by God. Maynard Shelly 

MCC BC executive director 

Applications are invited for the position of 
executive director for MCC BC. 

—Position opens early 1986, appointment 
time flexible 

—Salary commensurate with MCC policy 

—a scriptural understanding that combines a 

word-and-deed expression; 
— proven administrative experience, with a 

service record desirable; 
— apt communication skills. 

Apply by Feb. 28 to: 
Personnel Committee, MCC BC 
Box 2038 

Clearbrook, BC V2T 3T8 
(604) 859-4141. 

Kansas Mennonite Renewal Service 
will hold its seventh annual renewal 
celebration at Hesston Inter-Menno- 
nite Church March 21-22. The theme 
is "Reflecting God's Glory," and the 
main speaker is Gerald Derstine, a 
teacher, evangelist, conference speaker 
and author. Seminars will include 
"Baptism in the Holy Spirit," "Wor- 
ship," "Deliverance," "Inner Healing" 
and "Fivefold Ministry." Registration 
fee is $5 per person up to $15 per fam- 
ily. For more information contact Barb 
Callahan, 5430 NE Shaffer Road, To- 
peka, KS 66617, (913) 288-0727. 

"In the Dark Valley, Who Cares?" 

will be the theme of Robert Carlson's 
message to the guests of the Menno- 
nite Collegiate Institute's three fund- 
raising banquets March 20-22. Music 
will be provided by Bob and Verna 
Wiebe and Tim and Marlene Wiebe. 
Carlson, director of Prairie View Men- 
tal Health Center in Wichita, Kan., 
will deal with church and individual 
responses to people experiencing emo- 
tional stress. Tickets are $40, with $30 
tax deductible. For information call 
(204) 327-5891. 


:itflO and MORE 

Menno Simons found a new faith 450 
years ago. You can reaffirm yours. 
Three of our 1986 tours are designed to 
recrystallize the Anabaptist experi- 
ence. Or choose a Bible Lands tour. Or 
follow the "Conestoga Trail" from Penn- 
sylvania to Ontario. 

Bible Lands 

Apr. 21 - 

May 3 

J. & N. Lederach 

Europe 86A 

June 13 

- July 2 

J. Gleysteen, R. Ginger Ich 

Conestoga Trail 

June 30 

- July 7 

J. Ruth, A. Cressman 

Europe 868 

July 28 - 

Aug. 15 

W. Martin, J. Ruth 

Europe 86C 

Sept. 25 

-Oct. 13 

A. Cressman, C. Redekop 


1210 Loucks Ave. 
Scottdale, PA 15683 
(412) 887-6639 

131 Erb St. West 
Waterloo, ONT N2L 1T7 
(519) 886-3570 

New! Guaranteed rate of 
return on MMA's IRA*. 

Returns on each deposit guaranteed for one year. After that, 
rates set each quarter, based on how investments perform. 

A guaranteed rate of return. If you're under age 70 and 
earning an income, a way to plan now for retirement needs. 
A way to practice stewardship and share with others, too. 

It's all part of MMA's new 
IRA. To find out more, 
call 800-348-7468, toll 
free. If you're in Indiana, 
call (219)533-9511 collect. 

Mutual Aid 

^Individual Retirement Annuity 


Robert W. Regier of North Newton, 
Kan., is the recipient of a certificate of 
excellence for his illustrations in The 
Sun and the Wind (Faith and Life 
Press, 1983). Awarded by the National 
Association of Art Directors and De- 
signers, the award recognizes the chil- 
dren's book, which is an Aesop fable 
retold by Cornelia Lehn. Regier is 
professor of art at Bethel College and 
former art director for the General 

Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., 
is offering a spring Elderhostel ses- 
sion. From March 9-15 Bethel will 
offer three courses for those interested 
in an Elderhostel experience: "Good, 
Evil and Suffering: the Human Re- 
sponse," "Mennonites: Who Are 
They?" and "Wheat Weaving." Costs 
for residential students are $195 and 
include tuition, room and board. Com- 
muter students may attend for $90. 
For more information contact Miller 
Stayrook, Bethel College, North New- 
ton, KS 67117, (316) 283-2500. 

"Why have we Brazilian Mennonites 
abandoned the peace position?" asks 
Peter Pauls, Jr., in a recent issue of 
Bibel und Pflug, a Brazilian Menno- 
nite periodical. Pauls gives six reasons: 
(1) Guarantees for conscientious objec- 
tors by government officials were only 
oral; (2) Brazilian Mennonite churches 
never taught the peace principle; (3) 
the infiltration of Nazi militaristic 
ideology; (4) the fact that the little 
peace witness Brazilian Mennonites 
did give was neither convincing nor 
exemplary; (5) Brazilian Mennonites 
lacked courage and unity; (6) they still 
lack the unity to be heard by their 



Frank H. Epp, author, statesman, pro- 
fessor of history at Conrad Grebel Col- 
lege since 1971 and president of the 
college from 1973-1979, died Jan. 22 in 
the Kitchener- Waterloo (Ont.) Hospital 
of complications following heart sur- 
gery. He was 56. He is survived by his 
wife, Helen, three daughters and three 

Gerhard Lohrenz, teacher, preacher, 
Aeltester, archivist, writer, tour lead- 
ers and committee member, died sud- 
denly on Feb. 6 at the age of 86. He is 
survived by his wife, Anna, one son 
and two daughters, nine grandchildren 
and six great-grandchildren. 


Gary Badker, pastor at Beatrice (Neb.) 
Church, resigned effective May 31. 

Timothy R. Detweiler was ordained 
to pastoral ministry Jan. 19 at Moun- 
tain Community Mennonite Church, 
Palmer Lake, Colo. 

Roy Kaufman has resigned as pastor 
at Pulaski (Iowa) Church. 

Burton Reed resigned his pastorate 
at Ebenezer Church, Bluffton, Ohio, 
Dec. 31, 1985. He began as pastor at 
Calvary Evangelical Church, Van 
Wert, Ohio, Jan. 1. 

Edwin R. Stucky will terminate as 
pastor at First Church, McPherson, 
Kan., June 30. 


Marian Hooge, Rosthern (Sask.) 
Church, has begun a three-year Men- 
nonite Central Committee term in 

Epp Lohrenz 

Hooge Laewen 

Sorong, Indonesia. She will work as a 
physical therapist in Sele be Solu Hos- 
pital in association with the Swiss 
Mennonite Evangelization Committee. 
She received a bachelor's degree in 
physical therapy from the University 
of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon. Her par- 
ents are Katherine and Peter P. Hooge 
of Rosthern. 

Peter Loewen, Bergthaler Church, 
Winkler, Man., has begun a four- 
month term of service with Eastern 
Mennonite Board of Missions, Salunga, 
Pa., as a construction worker in 
Americus, Ga. His parents are Betty 
and Willie Loewen of Winkler. 

Dana and Kathleen Neff, Manhattan 
(Kan.) Fellowship, have begun two-year 
MCC terms in Belle Glade, Fla., where 
they will work as community devel- 


opers. Kathleen received a bachelor's 
degree in home economics from Kansas 
State University, Manhattan. Dana 
received a bachelor's degree in Bible 
and history from Bethel College, North 
Newton, Kan. His mother is Arline 
Neff of Des Moines, Iowa. Her parents 
are Clifford and Elizabeth Bitikofer of 
Hesston, Kan. 

Eula and Orlando Sprunger, First 
Church, Berne, Ind., have begun three- 
month MCC terms with SELFHELP 
Crafts in Ephrata, Pa., where they will 
work in the receiving department. 

Rick Woelk, Goessel (Kan.) Church, 
has begun a two-year MCC term in 
North Newton, Kan., where he will 
work as warehouse manager. His par- 
ents are Charles and Mary Ann Woelk 
of Goessel. 

88 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 



lou care about world peace . . . about people . . . 

lou care about world peace . . . about people 
about the environment. And you can choose 
investments to match those concerns. 

Pax World Fund works to contribute to world 
peace. It invests in: 

• non-war-related industries 

• companies exercising pollution control 

• firms with fair employment practices 

• international development 

Pax World is a no-load, diversified mutual fund 
now available through Mennonite Mutual Aid. 
The fund is designed for those who wish to earn 
income and to invest in life-supporting products 
and services. Minimum investment: $250. 

For more information, call or write: 
Mennonite Mutual Aid 
800-348-7468, toll-free 
or (219) 533-9511 collect in Indiana 

Post Office Box 483 
Goshen, IN 46526 

This is not a solicitation in those states where the securities have not been qualified. 

MENNONITE VOLUNTARY SERVICE ministers in the spirit of Christ through a variety 
of programs and seeks to bring God's love, justice and peace to a troubled world. 
People of many backgrounds, skills and ages are needed. The following are some of 
the positions which will be open during the coming months: 


To work with Indians, urban children and 
the educationally disadvantaged. 

Social workers- 
Offer emergency or rehabilitative service 
to families and individuals. 

Community organizers — 

Help neighborhood residents identify and 
resolve their common problems. 

Child-care workers— 

20 volunteers are needed to serve as 
teachers, assistant teachers and direc- 
tors of child-care programs in large and 
small cities. 

Youth workers- 
Minister to young people in need. Open- 
ings include job trainer and developer, 
arts and crafts directors, sports and recre- 
ation leaders, shelter staff, etc. 

Housing rehabilitation- 
Carpenters, maintenance workers, orga- 
nizers and coordinators are needed in 
Denver, Chicago, Wichita, Oklahoma City 
and Cleveland. 

Summer service workers — 

Over 30 volunteers are needed to work on 
special projects between June and 

WHEN *e underxtind 
the tefual flight of our 
contemwnriw . . . ware 
their offerim, THEN «e 
shell be able to f roclalm 
the Word of God. 

MENNONITE VOLUNTARY SERVICE Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 / 316-283-5100 

MVS is a program of the Commission on Home Ministries of the General Conference Mennonite Church. 


Commission On Education 


Mennonite Service Venture is designed for individual youth or 
youth groups to spend a few days or a few weeks serving those in 
need. International as well as North American locations are 
available. Mennonite Service Venture is operated in cooperation 
with the Mennonite Church. 

Service Hard work 

New Friends New Places 

Learn about others and yourself! 

Your prayer and financial support for the commission 
on Education are appreciated and necessary to 
continue this and other ministries for the church. 

Meet Paula Di Her Lehman. Paula is the Commission 
on Education Secretary for Youth Education. If 
you or your group would like to go on a 
Mennonite Service Venture or have questions 
about this program or other youth needs, contact 
Paula at the address below. 

^ General 722 Main street, box 347 

(( Y) Conference Newlon - KS 67114 0347 

Mennonite 316-283-5100 

Commission on 

Not all voted 

The pastor who was concerned about 
the 16 negative votes ("The Congrega- 
tion Voted," Dec. 10, 1985, issue) 
should be more concerned about the 
two-thirds of the congregation who did 
not vote. Name also withheld 

Jan. 13 

More on fundamentalism 

With much amusement I have followed 
the letters from perplexed readers of 
Peter J. Ediger's "I Am a Fundamen- 
talist" (Aug. 27, 1985, issue). It is as if 
Lewis Carroll's Humpty Dumpty has 
just said, "When I use a word, it 
means just what I choose it to mean," 
and a score of Mennonite Alices have 
opened their mouths to protest. I do 
sympathize. Some of Peter's poetic 
meanderings are a bit too esoteric for 
me as well. But what makes me 
chuckle is how successfully he has 
stirred people up. 

Peter loves to bend a word out of 
shape, twist it inside out and set it on 
its head. He can likewise let pigeon 
holes go stuff themselves. If your idea 
of "understanding" people is to find a 
box to put them in, you can give up 
when it comes to Peter. He's a theolog- 
ical square peg. He avoids serving up 
canned Christianity— you know the 
kind of faith I mean— that brand of 
theology that can be summed up in 
words with no defining actions at- 
tached. It can make him just plain 
difficult. But there is a certain method 
to his madness. I appreciate the En- 
glish he puts on an idea. It makes me 
rethink what I've taken for granted. 

Here's my advice: If you really want 
to know what Peter is saying, go watch 
what he does. His actions speak louder 
(and perhaps clearer) than his words. 
If his article provoked you to drag your 
most fundamental assumptions out of 
the closet for a good dusting, then it 
was well-written. If it perplexed you 
enough to wrestle with aggravating 
questions of faith, then it served its 
purpose. Donna L. Williams, 10B Colo- 
nial Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561 

Jan. 21 

The Second Coming 

I am not aware of any clear doctrinal 
teaching about the Second Coming of 
Christ. Of course, the Apostolic Creed 
teaches the important high points. But 
from here on there is much, often con- 

90 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 

troversial, speculative interpretation 
about this long-awaited event. 

Are we to believe that the Lord will 
return— waging carnal warfare and 
setting up a kingdom much like we 
have them today? 

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of 
this world." We need instruction about 
how we should anticipate the nature of 
this kingdom when Christ returns. 

Why make any effort to spread the 
good news of peace and goodwill 
through word and deed if the Second 
Coming is to be ushered in with carnal 
warfare? Edna V. Schmidt, 304 S.E. 
4th, Newton, KS 67114 

Jan. 21 

Editor's note: I too have frequently 
been perplexed by the many strange 
statements about Jesus' Second Com- 
ing. I've also been disturbed that so few 
Mennonite writers have addressed this 

We are planning a "Foundations of 
our Faith" article on this topic some- 
time later this year. We hope to get 
some good dialogue on the subject. 
Thanks for writing. 

Please send index 

We read The Mennonite from cover to 
cover and often refer back to articles 
that have appeared. 

We wish to take you up on your offer 
of an index for the 1985 issues. 
Katherine and Art Jahnke, Box 31, 
Herbert, SK SOH 2 AO 

Jan. 27 

Editor's note: We gladly send a free 
index for 1985 to all who request it. 

When babies don't come 

Thanks to the author of this article 
(Jan. 14 issue) for sharing her personal 
thoughts on the issue of infertility and 
wanting a baby. I am a mother of two 
precious adopted daughters. My hus- 
band and I are not able to conceive a 
child. We have known this for about 10 

We were married almost six years 
when we adopted our first child. I en- 
dured the pain of many, many thought- 
less comments made by people during 
that time. I not only had to grieve the 
loss of children I would never have, but 
I also had to face the many thought- 
less questions and comments people 
had to make. 

My heart still aches with emptiness 

and pain as I look at a pregnant 
woman. I imagine it always will. I 
have asked the Lord many times, 
"Why me?" But I also know the grief 
and the pain has brought me much 
closer to God than I ever imagined I 
could be. He gave me two beautiful 
daughters in miraculous ways as spe- 
cific answers to prayer in my life. 
Without our infertility I would not 
have experienced this. The pain and 
grief I feel is only balanced by the joy 
and love we receive from our two pre- 
cious adopted children. Being parents 
is a responsibility we cherish and 
wanted so much. We thank the Lord 
each day for our children. 

It was so good to read the article and 
identify with someone who experiences 
what I have and still experience from 
time to time. Thank you for your in- 
sight to write this article and the sen- 
sitivity and honesty with which you 
shared your feelings. I pray that you 
will be able to conceive a child and 
that God will give us both the courage 
to cope with our situation. Linda 
Ewert, 1517 Manchester, McPherson, 
KS 67560 

Jan. 29 

Space prayer 1986 

Seven soared in hope 
with heads held high, 
And none of us thought 
they would die. 

They were like us 
both white and black, 
male and female, 
None held back. 

We saw the human touches 

the apple, and the grief— 
Both new. 

And now our prayer 
for all of space 
"May only peace 

be in that place." Helen C. Coon, Box 
66, Deer Creek, OK 74636 

Jan. 29 

Good to be encouraged 

It is reassuring to see the interest 
taken by The Mennonite in regard to 
the plight farmers face in the United 
States and Canada. It seems that the 
agricultural sector in the United 
States has been and continues to be 
harder hit than have Canadian 

farmers. Nevertheless the problem 
here is worsening steadily. 

I am a third-generation farmer in 
Canada and my family farmed in Rus- 
sia prior to coming here. My grandpar- 
ents and my parents together built up 
farming operations from sheer poverty. 
To this day my father's health suffers 
due to the excessively hard work com- 
bined with the poor working conditions 
of those early times. 

It was a long hard struggle for many 
of our Mennonite farmers who pushed 
themselves to the limit to build up 
farming operations that would eventu- 
ally provide them with a decent living. 
My parents are thankful for the way 
God has blessed them. 

Once my parents were established, 
they helped their family, the next gen- 
eration, get started. Due to ever-in- 
creasing levels of mechanization, the 
smaller, relatively debt-free farming 
operations were no longer viable for 
young, beginning farmers with no as- 
sets to speak of. In our family more 
than one son wanted to farm, making 
it necessary for us to borrow money to 
buy both land and machinery. At that 
time farm products were worth at least 
twice as much as they are now, and 
expenses were considerably lower. The 
snowball effect that these conditions 
have produced has left many farmers, 
especially beginning farmers, in a 
precarious situation. So far our family 
is still fortunate enough to be able to 
meet payments and commitments, but 
there are many situations where this 
is not the case. 

The stress of wondering just how 
long this can continue is at times over- 
whelming. It hurts to watch neighbors, 
fellow church members and friends 
attempting to fend off bankruptcy. 

This is not to say that farmers are 
innocent of any blame for the situation 
they find themselves in. 

It's good to encourage one another in 
tough times. John Willms, Box 202, 
Coaldale, AB TOK 0L0 

Feb. 4 

CPS addresses wanted 

Looking for current addresses of former 
CPSers who served in Lapine, Ore., during 
World War II for projected reunion planning. 

Please reply immediately to: 
Wilbert Reimer 
Box 112 

North Newton, KS 67117. 


Winnipeg, winter and MVS 

Brenda Suderman 

Winnipeg is known to many outsiders 
as "Winterpeg." The home of 30,000 
Mennonites and 39 established Menno- 
nite congregations. It is also the new 
home of the recently established Men- 
nonite Voluntary Service unit, spon- 
sored by Bethel Mennonite Church. 

Bethel Mennonite Church spent two 
years in discussion and establishment 
of this unit. Its first members came in 
January 1985. 

Bethel Church wanted to be involved 
in more direct and concrete service to 
the community. They saw the estab- 
lishment of a Mennonite Voluntary 
Service unit as one way of accomplish- 
ing this goal. "An MVS unit was seen 
as an extension of our church," says 
Werner Wiens, who was involved in 
the initial planning. This extension of 
Bethel could help bring the church's 
mission to needy areas of Winnipeg. 

The unit was also envisioned to have 
a mission inside Bethel. The planning 
committee hopes that the presence of 
full-time volunteers in the midst of the 
more than 500 members and friends of 
Bethel will inspire and motivate indi- 
viduals and groups within the congre- 
gation to consider various volunteer 
and service options for themselves. 

Now a year old, the unit has hosted 
up to 50 people from the congregation 
at several fellowship events and has 
given presentations about MVS to 
some of the church's groups. Two of 
the unit members have taught Sunday 
school; another has led an adult educa- 
tion class. 

The unit members share freely of 
their experiences as individuals and as 
an intentional community in Winni- 
peg. Although they come from various 
perspectives and backgrounds, they 
jokingly agree on at least one subject: 
Winnipeg winters are cold. Three of 
the four speak from experience. Kelly 
Schmucker, a native of Stryker, Ohio, 
has already experienced two Winnipeg 
winters as a Mennonite Central Com- 
mittee volunteer in their head offices, 
and she has committed herself to two 
more winters in Winnipeg with MVS. 
Doris Mehl, Lake Oswegio, Ore., and 
Catherine Adams, San Antonio, Texas, 
are the veterans of the unit, having 
arrived in January 1985. Paul 
Eastwood has yet to experience an 
entire Winnipeg winter, having arrived 

in early summer from southern 

They agree that coping with winter 
is tough, but living as an intentional 
community is tougher. Paul, who expe- 
rienced community living while a stu- 
dent in Toronto, claims that he had no 
illusions about unit life. "When I came 
here I knew there would be conflicts 
and problems and differences. When 
you're put with people you don't 
choose to live with, you expect some 
problems. But I would do it again— 
there are more positive things than 
negative." Catherine admits she had 
illusions. "I'm still going through the 
process of having my illusions shat- 
tered. I knew what to expect with my 
job as a social worker, but unit life is 
completely new to me." Doris agrees 
and presents another perspective, that 
of leaving a lifetime of friends plus her 
children and grandchildren. "I think 
unit life is great because it challenges 
you, especially someone my age, living 
in a new and strange place with a 
bunch of strangers." 

Although all of them are nearer the 
beginning of their two-year assign- 
ments than the end, they share what 
impact a service assignment has had 
on them and will have. Kelly, who has 
already completed a two-year term 
with MCC, talks of not being able to 
go back home again. Yet, she admits, 
her term with MCC has helped her 
home church understand what it 
means to do missions. "I talked to my 
church about what was going on here 
with Manitoba Interfaith Immigration 

Council. They were interested and 
their eyes were opened." 

The four members of the Winnipeg 
MVS unit agree that there is a need 
for the unit to exist in Winnipeg, in 
spite of the many Mennonites and 
churches already in the city. They also 
agree that living as a household of 
volunteers and attempting to live a 
lifestyle of simplicity in terms of 
money, possessions and activities in- 
cludes living in the inner city. Living 
at 74 Langside Street in Winnipeg's 
core area helps them identify with the 
people and the issues they deal with in 
their daily assignments. Kelly and 
Catherine work with new Canadians, 
many of whom live in the same neigh- 
borhood, at the Manitoba Interfaith 
Immigration Council. Doris is involved 
with the Family Centre, a drop-in cen- 
ter sponsored by several Mennonite 
churches for inner-city families. Paul 
is a staff person for Project Peacema- 
kers, an interchurch organization. 

For Kelly, Paul, Catherine and Doris, 
living in inner-city Winnipeg and cop- 
ing with winters and MVS are chal- 
lenges they are willing to face. (In 
January a fifth person joined the Win- 
nipeg MVS unit. Kathy Grant of Sault 
Sainte Marie, Ont., is working at 
Carter Day Care Centre. She was not 
yet there when this story was done 
and the photograph was taken.) 

Brenda Suderman, 7-671 McMillan 
Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3M 0S6, works 
as news editor for the Conference of 
Mennonites in Canada. 

Left to right: Kelly Schmucker, Doris Mehl, Catherine Adams and Paul Eastwood of the 
Winnipeg MVS unit at their Langside Street residence 


Their faith speaks in Nicaragua, El Salvador 

These Salvadoran women weep for townspeople killed in an army attack. 

Myron D. Schrag 

Last June 12-27 I visited Central 
America as part of the Augsburg Col- 
lege Center for Global Services and 
Education in Minneapolis. 

In Central America I saw the faith of 
a people who suffered in ways you and 
I can scarcely imagine, a people who 
know the meaning of faith in ways 
that I have yet to learn, a people 
whose hope and determination will not 
be destroyed by bombs and guns. They 
have something infinitely more power- 
ful. In Central America are people of 
faith who have nothing— yet every- 
thing. There are people here in North 
America who have everything— yet 

Gabriel Gaitan is director of develop- 
ment for CEPAD, a Protestant relief 
organization in Nicaragua. MCC 
works under CEPAD. When asked how 
CEPAD works with the current gov- 
ernment of Nicaragua, he said, "We 
have all the freedom we want in order 
to work here. We can point out the 
errors of the Sandinista. Sometimes we 
are against the direction they are tak- 
ing. We work on our disagreements 
together. We are all Nicaraguans." 

In the war zone of Esteli in northern 
Nicaragua we met with some "campe- 
sinos" on a cooperative farm. This 
particular cooperative had not been 
attacked by contras, but a neighboring 
cooperative had. They told how the 
contras had burned crops, destroyed a 
health clinic and school and killed the 
doctors and teachers. "We are Chris- 
tians," they said. "Why does Reagan 
send money to kill our people? They 
won't let us live in peace." 

A church in a poor "barrio" (neigh- 
borhood) of Managua had its walls and 
ceiling covered with colorful murals 
depicting the history and life of the 
people of Nicaragua. One mural in 
particular caught my eye. It was a 
picture of a campesino carrying a 
cross. It was a vivid reminder to me 
that Christ is present with the poor. 
They identify with him and he with 
them. Matthew 25 came to mind: "I 
tell you the truth, whatever you did 
not do for one of the least of these, you 
did not do for me." 

The priest's homily in that little 
church was based on the story of the 
disciples in a boat on the Sea of Gali- 
lee during a storm. "Nicaragua," said 

the priest, "is a boat in a storm, but 
Jesus is present. The final word is not 
death but love." 

In El Salvador is an organization 
called the Mothers of the Disappeared. 
These are mothers whose sons have 
disappeared due to the actions of the 
death squads. Some have had their 
sons tortured and their mutilated 
bodies returned to them. 

But Mothers of the Disappeared not 
only mourned over the loss of their 
own sons. They also said, "We de- 
nounce atrocities and the things the 
army is doing to our sons who are also 
soldiers ordered and trained to commit 
atrocities. They are also Salvadorans." 
And I thought of the words of Jesus: 
"Father, forgive them, for they know 
not what they do." These women em- 
bodied that kind of forgiveness. 

Pastor Gomez, a Lutheran, is heavily 
involved in work among the poor and 
refugees in El Salvador. "The situation 
is desperate," he said. "The war is 
killing the best of our children. The 
climate is full of terror. We now under- 
stand better the hymn 'A Mighty For- 
tress is our God.' The cross now means 
something new. Christ told his people, 
when he commissioned them, not to 
tell anyone. 'Why don't you want us to 
tell?' they must have asked. In our 
setting that command of Christ makes 
sense. We do good acts, but we have to 
tell people not to tell anybody else 
because the enemy never has an un- 
derstanding of what God wants. We 
also understand better the Beatitude 
'Blessed are those persecuted for righ- 
teousness sake.' People persecute you 

for what God wants. We feel an inter- 
nal peace in our work. The church has 
grown. We don't have angels but peo- 
ple. We have sinners and we try to 
help them. People come with a desire 
to listen and find God. We have had 
difficult moments. I was accused of 
subversion. I was afraid. When I left 
jail and went to church that first Sun- 
day I thought all the people would stay 
away because they would be afraid of 
being associated with me. But the 
church was full. And the church grew 
after that. My faith has increased. We 
have more and more problems— but 
also more and more blessings from 

Then Pastor Gomez shared how his 
own faith has grown in working with 
refugees. "No one gives without also 
receiving. We have learned spiritually 
from them. We have learned human 
virtues, how faith works for them. I 
know mothers who have lost all their 
children in the war, also their homes, 
crops and animals. They have been left 
without clothes and identification pa- 
pers. Yet there in the church service 
they thank God." 

We drove through the beautiful coun- 
tryside of El Salvador to the airport, 
past the side road where the four 
U.S. church women had been mur- 
dered. I thought, How ironic that the 
name of this country, so violent, so 
oppressive, yet with so much natural 
beauty, means "the Savior." 

Myron D. Schrag is the pastor of Faith 
Mennonite Church, 2801 East 22nd 
St., Minneapolis, MN 55406. 



Mennonites in America 

Land, Piety, Peoplehood: The Es- 
tablishment of Mennonite Commu- 
nities in America 1683-1790 by 

Richard K. MacMaster (Herald Press, 
1985, 343 pages) 

Reviewed by Keith L. Sprunger, Bethel 
College, North Newton, KS 67117 

"The Mennonite Experience in Amer- 
ica" (1683 to the present) is a coopera- 
tive project of historians from many 
Mennonite groups. The author of this 
first volume is Richard K. MacMaster 
from Bridgewater, Va. The further 
volumes are being prepared by Theron 
F. Schlabach, James C. Juhnke and 
Paul Toews. As the first published 
volume promises, this Mennonite his- 
tory will be not only extensive but 
scholarly, interesting and significant 
in its interpretations. 

Land, Piety, Peoplehood sets forth 
American Mennonite history for the 
period 1683 to 1790, beginning with 
the Germantown settlement of 1683. 
This book is not the history of individ- 
ual Mennonite congregations or Men- 
nonite preachers but the story of a 
church (or a people) as a whole. The 
three main themes highlighted in the 
title are used to organize and interpret 
two centuries of history. After an open- 
ing chapter which sketches the back- 
grounds of European Mennonite 
history and the first settlements in 
America, the author launches into an 
extensive treatment on land and settle- 
ment patterns, based upon land 
records and wills, sources dear to pro- 
fessional historians. MacMaster draws 
insights from historical geography and 
the "new social history" methods cur- 
rently in vogue but previously not 
often applied to Mennonite history. 
The result is a deeper knowledge of 
Mennonite history on the economic 
and social levels. 

Obviously, not every episode of Men- 
nonite history can be presented as 
religiously heroic. The Mennonite mo- 
tives for immigration and settlement, 
for example, according to MacMaster, 
were similar to those of most other 
immigrants, a mixture of "speculative, 
capitalistic motive, and the more fam- 
ily-and-tribal-oriented one" (p. 137). 
The author looks for idealistic actions 
true to the Anabaptist heritage but 
does not force such interpretations. 
Failures and dilemmas receive their 

The middle section searches for the 
religious faith of Mennonites against 
the interplay of "Pietism" and "Ana- 
baptism," and the final section ex- 
plores the political issues of the Indian 
wars and the American Revolution. 
Interspersed among the larger themes 
is information about Mennonite educa- 
tion, publishing, architecture, preach- 
ing and related topics. 

Again and again the author raises 
the question of how Mennonites re- 
lated to the larger American scene. 
Have they been "typically American or 
different"? The book ends with Menno- 
nites confronting the American Revo- 
lution and the new nationhood, just as 
Dutch Mennonites at the same time 
were facing the European revolutions. 
Connections between American Men- 
nonite history and world history could 
receive more attention. 

1 Corinthians 1-7 

Have the Mind of Christ by Marilyn 
Peters Kliewer (Faith and Life Press, 
1985, 90 pages) 

Reviewed by David Sprunger, 716 E. 
10th, Newton, KS 67114 

Have the Mind of Christ is a nine- 
session study guide to 1 Corinthians 
1-7 by Marilyn Peters Kliewer, Bible 
instructor at Swift Current (Sask.) 
Bible Institute. Her manual guides the 
reader through a close textual study of 
Paul's letter dealing with factions, 
immorality and issues of marriage and 
divorce in the Corinthian church, and 
it brings the reader to see the passage 
in its historical context and to see its 
modern relevance to congregational 
and personal life. 

Kliewer brings the reader to a 
greater understanding of the early 
church in Corinth, the historical back- 
ground of the problems it faced and 
the strategy Paul used to deal with 
these issues. 

In addition to stressing the impor- 
tance of 1 Corinthians 1-7 to the his- 
tory of the early church, Kliewer helps 
each reader apply the lessons of each 
passage to contemporary church life. 
For example, questions ask readers to 
compare their congregations to the one 
at Corinth, to wonder if Paul would be 
shocked by anything in their churches 
and to consider the images their 
churches show to people outside the 

On a third level, Have the Mind of 

Christ uses readers' study of the pas- 
sage to force some critical self-exami- 
nation. For example, readers are asked 
how they would address a letter deal- 
ing with such issues to their congrega- 
tions, whether their behavior is modi- 
fied in the presence of certain people 
and how they feel about marriage and 

Have the Mind of Christ is the sec- 
ond volume in the Faith and Life Bible 
Studies series, and it meets the series' 
goal of being usable with groups who 
have no formal training in Bible study. 
The workbook format makes it an 
excellent text for either self-directed or 
group study. 

Children and divorce 

The Boys and Girls Book About 
Divorce by Richard A. Gardner, M.D. 
(Bantam, 1970, 155 pages) 

Reviewed by Anne Neufeld Rupp, Box 
8, Goessel, KS 67053 

Richard Gardner, a child psychiatrist, 
writes this book for children whose 
parents are in the process of divorce or 
have divorced. Gardner believes in the 
strength and integrity of children and 
helps them identify the feelings and 
fears they may be facing and what to 
do about these feelings in the contin- 
ued parent-child relationship. He deals 
with issues such as sadness, blame 
(children frequently feel the divorce is 
their fault), anger and its appropriate 
use, fear of being abandoned, getting 
along with a divorced parent, shame, 
additional family responsibilities and 
attitudes of other children. 

Gardner helps the child work 
through these feelings not as a victim 
but as one who even at an early age 
can look at options for handling a 

A child of nine or older may easily 
read the book alone. However, in his 
forward to parents Gardner indicates 
that it is wise for parents to read it 
with their children, to open opportu- 
nity for discussion. It is also suggested 
that parents read it and glean helpful 
and appropriate ways of relating to 
their children during or after divorce. 

The increasing divorce rate through- 
out the nation and in our Mennonite 
circles challenges us to be aware of 
rather than negate the needs of fami- 
lies who divorce. Too often the children 
are ignored. Gardner's book is a cor- 
rective for that. 

94 FEBRUARY 25, 1986 


Mrs. Sarah . . . 

Mrs. Sarah 
she's dirty 
yellow oozing sores 
stain her face 



3 bags (one from 

Saks Fifth Avenue) 
100 times already 

1 shopping cart (rusted) 
holds everything 
she has 

almost nothing 
greasy hair 

the hair that's there 

at least 
Mrs. Sarah 
she's dirty 
she's awake 
up from bed 

Jerry ; 










clumsy but present) 
"Good morning, 

Mrs. Sarah! 
How did you sleep 

last night? 
. . . did you sleep 

last night? 
. . . where did you sleep? 
. . . could you? 

How. . . ?" 



Chuck Neufeld 

The Christian church from early on has been a center for worship 
and for charitable ministries. There has been a concern to serve 
the total person, to save people's souls and help them become 
fulfilled in every way. 

Such a commitment to total-person missions demands the ac- 
tive involvement of the whole body of Christ. We need professional 
workers to lead, train and coordinate. But we all need to see 
ourselves as partners in the global witness. Central to realizing 
this vision is the idea of voluntary service. It is not an option as a 
favor to someone else. It is a mandate for our own spiritual health. 

Holy ground 74 

Was Jesus a he-man? 76 

MVS . . . round two 78 

Service is the Christian lifestyle 79 

Interview with James Chung-Fu Liu 80 

Early winter 81 

News 82 

CMC Council of Boards 82 

Roots of pornography and violence 83 

MCC annual meeting 84 

Record 88 

Letters 90 

Winnipeg, winter and MVS 92 

Their faith speaks in Nicaragua, El Salvador 93 

Mennonites in America 94 

1 Corinthians 1-7 94 

Children and divorce 94 

Mrs. Sarah 95 

Why should I consider MVS? 96 


For this issue, several articles focus on the Mennonite Voluntary 
Service program of the General Conference. We express gratitude 
to MVS staff and workers who assisted us. 

Peter J. Ediger, 5927 Miller Ave., Arvada, CO 80004, is the 
director of MVS and co-pastor of the Arvada Church. 

Galen W. Goertzen, Route 2, Box 788, Newport, WA 99156, 
graduated in 1985 with a degree in biology from Bethel College. 
He is from the Spring Valley Mennonite Church. 

Reynold Siemens is professor of English at the University of 
Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E5. 

Chuck Neufeld, 3248 W. 163rd St., Markham, IL 60426, is the 
MVS/East associate director. 


Cover, 75, 79, Lynn Keenan, MVS/West associate director, 2416 
Emerson St., Denver, CO 80205; 76, Alfred Siemens, 624 Sals- 
bury Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Z9; 78, Katherine Bartel, Richard 
Boyd; 80, Joy Hofer (MCC); 81, Bruce Hildebrand (MCCC); 82 
(top), Joel Kauffmann; 82, Bernie Wiebe; 83, COM; 84, Marc Hos- 
tetler (MCC); 86, Verney Unruh; 88, Belair, Kitchener; 92, Brenda 
Suderman; 93, RNS; 95, Kellner's Photo, 1768 Rockville Drive, 
Baldwin, NY 11510. 


Editor: Bernie Wiebe 

600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4/ (204) 888-6781 

Assistant editor: Gordon Houser 

722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 / (316) 283-5100 

Editorial assistant: Sharon Sommer 
Art director: John Hiebert 
The Mennonite is a member of the Associated Church Press, 
Evangelical Press Association and Meetinghouse (a Mennonite 
and Brethren in Christ editors' group). It is an associate member of 
the Canadian Church Press. 

Business manager: Dietrich Rempel. Circulation secretary: Marilyn Kauf- 
man. Special editions editors: Central District, Evelyn Krehbiel, 229 Brook- 
wood, Bluffton, OH 45817; Pacific District, Carol Peterson, Box 338, Upland, 
CA 91785; Western District, Debbie Huxman, Box 306, North Newton, KS 
67117; Window to Mission, Lois Deckert, 122 W. Dayton Yellow Springs 
Road, Apt. #4, Fairborn, OH 45324; and Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, Richard A. Kauffman, 3003 Benham Ave. Elkhart, IN 46517. 




Why should I consider MVS? 

Voluntary service is for young people undecided 
about their career or education— right? VS is for the 
unemployed— right? Once I retire, I should give some 
years to MVS— right? 

Right and wrong. It can be appropriate for young 
adults to serve as volunteers as part of their search 
for direction. VS can be an interim "job." It is good 
when retired people consider MVS. 

But there's more to volunteering and VS than the 
above. All people are created in the image of God. 
And one of the basic human needs is to find whole- 
ness with our Creator. But for that salvation to fulfill 
our lives, we need to have a part in God's ongoing 
creative ministry. The First Commandment (Mark 
12:28-30) and the Great Commission (Matthew 18:19- 
20) were never given to be burdensome. They are out- 
lets and resources for our basic spiritual needs. 

The call and commitment to mission, for all believ- 
ers, is much more than "just giving a few hours of 
your time" here and there. It is part of the total 
Christian community's commitment to "do justice . . . 
to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" 
(Micah 6:8b). The body of Christ has long taken this 
calling as integral to our welfare and to our integrity. 
Philanthropy and volunteerism today are not unique 
to Christianity. But there is historical evidence that 
the global compassion of the Early Church, with its 
concern for the total person, was a revolutionary com- 
mitment with deep roots in the Judeo-Christian 

Often we have been overwhelmed by the world's 
needs. This has led the church to build institutions- 
school, homes, hospitals— as resources for coping. 
That has been blessing and bane. While institutions 
enable us to care for the masses, they tend to put our 
caring/service into the hands of professionals. And 
this tends to make mission less personal— for the pro- 
fessionals, for those who receive the care and for the 
rest (frequently leaving them only with the bills to 

In today's high-tech world we see the limitations of 
institutions. People need high-touch more than high- 
tech. Mission is people to people. Technology at best 
can be a supplement, never a substitute— again, both 

for the care givers and the care receivers. 

It is tempting in today's world of specialists for 
many believers to feel inadequate or to be too preoc- 
cupied with themselves. Such people miss a signifi- 
cant dimension that God wants to add to your 

Others fail to recognize and receive the deeper val- 
ues of voluntary service. It is much more than doing 
someone else a favor. In voluntarily serving other 
people, you and I serve God and ourselves (Matthew 

Why then do churches find volunteers hard to get? 
Why is MVS short of workers? 

To be in mission is to become a burning fire— with 
the flames of Pentecost. But the enabling Spirit came 
to the apostles in their weakest hour— their ambi- 
tions and dreams had been shattered by Calvary. In 
their helplessness God came to them. 

For you and me to volunteer— for MVS in urban 
areas, teaching Sunday school— is not easy. At first 
these people feel like intruders threatening to rob us 
of what we consider our own— time, money, energy. 
And our "success orientation" says that they deserve 
their lot. We're glad not to be like them. Are we 
really much different from the self-righteous Phari- 
see (Luke 18:9-14)? 

But our ultimate inner peace begins when we serve 
other people and they see beauty in us. When they 
affirm our being, regardless of status or wealth. They 
spy in us the image of God and help us discover it 

The transformed life (Romans 12:1-2) helps us real- 
ize that today and tomorrow are not ours to hold. 
They are opportunities to exercise our calling to give 
life and love to one another. It happens as we accept 
that we too are needy and that in serving others we 
are served. 

It grows as we discover beauty in the prisoner, the 
unruly child in class, the wrinkled and senile grand- 
mother in the nursing home. As we, like a grain of 
wheat, die to self and live to others (John 12:24), our 
life multiplies. 

Volunteer because of mission— to yourself and to 
others. Bernie Wiebe 





101:05 MARCH 11, 1986 

crises are threads 
in a fabric 

LaVonne Piatt 

MAR H - 86 

"We are very much intertwined. The 
farmer couldn't get along without 
these supportive businesses, this infra- 
structure. We're all tied together. They 
depend on us and we depend on them. 
I think we're all going to sink or swim 

The speaker was Raymond Regier, a 
central Kansas grain farmer who for 
more than 30 years has worked the 
land his parents and grandparents 
farmed before him. 

Regier was part of a small group of 
Mennonites from five congregations in 
three central Kansas counties who met 
last July to discuss the current farm 
situation from the perspectives of an 
implement dealer, a rural banker, a 
farm cooperative manager and both 
beginning and established farmers. As 
they spoke, a fabric of rural life began 
to take shape in my mind, and the 
threads that strengthened, weakened 

and even broke that fabric became 
more defined. 

Kenneth Goering, president of the 
Citizens State Bank of Moundridge 
and a member of the Eden Mennonite 
Church, agreed with Regier. "You 
wouldn't have a financial institution 
in this area without agriculture. The 
whole retail establishment is based on 
that farmer out there. When the 
farmer isn't having a good year, busi- 
ness really slows down." 

Glen Unrau, a McPherson imple- 
ment dealer, said that was certainly 
true with his business. "We rely 100 
percent on the farm trade," he said. 
"How well the farmer does determines 
how well we do." 

Unrau illustrated how current eco- 
nomic problems of farmers affect the 
agricultural infrastructure. "We get 
letters from farmers who have run out 
of credit (from their financial institu- 


Most small 
towns have 
What happens to 
these towns as 
farms are sold or 
in deep crises? 

tions). In trying to work things 
through, they write to their suppliers 
of chemicals, fertilizers, repairs, ser- 
vices, as well as implement dealers, 
and they simply have to say to them, 
'You are maybe going to lose in this 
whole deal.' " Unrau went on, "We 
may have extended credit of $8,000 to 
$10,000, and all of a sudden we are 

faced with whether we are going to 
recover that." 

The discussion turned to the increase 
of bankruptcies in the area. Marvin 
Esau, manager of the Farmers Grain 
Cooperative at Walton and a member 
of the Bethel College Mennonite 
Church in North Newton, dealt with 
seven farmers who declared bank- 
ruptcy in 1984. "And it wouldn't sur- 
prise me to see that many in 1985," he 

"I firmly believe there are few people 
who want to take bankruptcy," Goer- 
ing said, "especially among farmers. 
Of the farmers I've seen go into it, I 
can't tell you one that wanted to." 

Jim Graber, a young farmer who 
belongs to the Whitestone Mennonite 
Church in Hesston, spoke with convic- 
tion. "For most farmers it's like losing 
a part of the family. They certainly 
don't want to." 

One participant in the small group 
issued a call for the church to increase 
sensitivity to the needs of farmers in 
trouble. He said that in his church 
farmers who face economic problems 
have quit attending. 

That is not the case, however, at the 
Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church 
near Goessel, where Unrau chairs the 
congregation. "Of the membership 
that have declared bankruptcy or are 
in the process of making changes (to 
avoid losing their farms), they all come 
to church," Unrau said. "That's where 
they get their support. We couldn't 
bail them out financially— that is im- 
possible. But at least we can let them 
know we empathize with their prob- 
lems. We make it a special point to 
simply go to visit. That's a Christian 

"Some of those people have tough 
decisions to make when they get into 
such positions," Esau said. "They're 
getting some advice that tells them to 
do the opposite of their thinking and of 
the way they were brought up. Some 
bankruptcy attorneys— and they have 
to use one someplace, I guess— tell 
them, 'You can go to your neighbor- 
hood co-op, go to your implement 
dealer, dump that bill, forget those 
people.' And yet those are the same 
people they go to church with and that 
their daily lives depend on. Then they 
have to make the decision, and I can 
see that to be an awful dilemma. I 
don't know how some of them can han- 
dle it," he said. "I really don't." 

Graber, who has a business prepar- 
ing income-tax returns in addition to 
farming, believes it is important for 
farmers to talk openly about their 
troubles. "I agonize over what I call 
Mennonite macho-ism," Graber said, 
and went on to explain. "There will be 
three farmers standing at a sale, say- 

ing, 'Well, this guy just wasn't a good 
manager. He did this and this wrong. 
But we aren't having any trouble. 
We're doing OK.' Then later that year 
I see their tax books come in, and they 
are in terrible trouble. There's such a 
stigma about admitting it. But I think 
the more it's talked about the more 
likely it will loosen up a little." 

Regier, a member of the Hebron 
Mennonite Church near Buhler, did 
not think Mennonites were more reti- 
cent than the general population. 
"From what I hear, farmers anywhere 
are reluctant to talk about their per- 
sonal financial problems," he said. 

One reason for the economic crisis in 
farming is that the value of farm pro- 
duce and land went down while every- 
thing the farmer bought continued to 
go up in price. Graber suggested that 
if farm income and land values had 
risen like costs of services and equip- 
ment, most farmers would be prosper- 
ous today. "That is a point we are 
overlooking," he said. "Devaluation of 
the land is not a product of poor man- 

Esau agreed. "Whenever you buy 
anything, expecting its value to go up 
and instead it goes down, it will make 
you look bad, whether it was a tractor 
or investments. I don't think there is 
anyone in business today who can't 
look back and see where he or she 
made a mistake." 

Goering responded from the perspec- 
tive of a banker. "Because of a drop in 
land values, many loans that seemed 
proper at the time they were made 
now appear to have been based on poor 
advice," he said. He also said that 
some financial institutions made loans 
without checking the validity of the 
loan request because when land values 
were high there was plenty to back the 

Unrau pointed out that the banker 
and the farmer made their decisions 
together to use borrowed money for 
expansion. "And I know of financial 
institutions who have stayed right in 
there and taken their licks along with 
the farmers and tried to help them 
survive and realign," he said. 

One part of the problem is that 
farmers need to continue to produce- 
even sometimes to increase produc- 
tion—in order to be able to pay inter- 
est they have coming due, while other 
businesses can control production to 
keep prices high for their goods. 

However, cutting production can also 
cause difficulty. Unrau told how the 
consolidation of major implement deal- 
ers affected his business. When Case/ 
Tenneco purchased International Har- 
vester, it was a matter of survival of 
one or the other dealership in McPher- 
son." Unrau's business was awarded 


MARCH 11, 1986 

the contract for the newly consolidated 
company, increasing its share of the 
market from 28 percent to 48 percent 
of the tractors in the county, but the 
other dealership in town closed. 

The men repeatedly stressed the 
importance of communication between 
farmers and businesses with whom 
they interact. According to Goering, 
communication often breaks down 
when farmers are in financial difficul- 
ties. "When they can't make a loan or 
interest payment, they just don't show 
up," Goering said. "But you've got to 
keep communication open." 

Esau agreed. "Whether it's the co-op, 
the bank or the implement dealer 
they're working with, farmers have to 
communicate. When it gets to the 
point that we've got to run them down, 
they get defensive— and that step 
shouldn't have to be taken. 

"Looking at it from the side of the 
farmer, though," Esau continued, 
"they don't know what to tell you, so 
they hesitate to communicate. They 
don't have what they think you want 
to hear." 

Graber and Regier both saw relation- 

Farmers have 
usually been 
regarded as 
"people of 
the land." 
today affect a 
network of 

threads in the 
fabric of 
living in 
Canada and 
the United 

ships between farm policy and U.S. 
defense policy. "We raised 2 billion 
bushels of wheat in the U.S. this year," 
Graber said, "and to buy it would cost 
$6 billion." He paused to let the enor- 
mity of the figure sink in, and then 
went on. "Reagan's Star Wars proposal 
alone is at least $500 billion, enough 
to buy all the wheat produced in the 
United States for the next 100 years. 
Put in that perspective, I think defense 
funds certainly pull away from farm 
funds. That has a large effect on what 
happens to us." 

Regier expanded on the topic of de- 
fense. "Military expenditures are eco- 
nomic waste," he said. "We have an 
annual $200 billion deficit. Although 
the total budget affects the deficit, 
military spending is the prime villain. 
And the deficit is related to the value 
of the dollar, so military expenditures 
are a factor, particularly when you're 
talking about international trade." 

During the discussion the farmers, 
banker, implement dealer and co-op 
manager wove together their perspec- 
tives on the farm situation to show a 
pattern of rural life shaped by interac- 
tion with the church and community, 
but it was a fabric affected by eco- 
nomic and political forces largely out- 
side their control. At the end of more 
than an hour's discussion, Kenneth 
Goering tied together the comments of 
the group when he said, "It is discour- 
aging in that we don't see an end to 
this. We see the agricultural situation 
becoming worse over the next few 
years. And the only hope is that usu- 
ally when things look so bad, they're 
never quite as bad as they look. And 
something usually happens that pulls 
you out. Looking over the next two to 
four years, there is very little hope out 
there. We've made it this far, but 
where do we go from here?" A Meet- 
inghouse article • 

Raymond Regier has spent all of his life on the 400-acre northwest Har- 
vey County (Kan.) farm where he now grows wheat, corn and soybeans. 
Raymond and his wife, Gladys, are members of the Hebron Church at 
Buhler and are both active on Western District committees. Raymond has 
also served on the General Conference peace and justice reference council. 
The Regiers are members of the Kansas MCC Hunger Concerns Commit- 
tee and the Kansas MCC Task Force on the Farm Crisis. 

Kenneth Goering has been associated with the Citizens State Bank of 
Moundridge, Kan., for 18 years, the past eight years as president. He 
grew up in a farm family and still does some farming himself. Except for 
two years in 1-W service in Denver, Goering has lived in rural Mound- 
ridge all of his life. An active member of the Eden Church near Mound- 
ridge, Goering has taught Sunday school and served a term as church 

Glen Unrau has been in the implement business at American Farm Sup- 
ply in McPherson, Kan., since 1977, having previously taught school, 
farmed and traveled with a farm equipment company. Unrau grew up on 
a farm near Goessel, a few miles from the farm where he and his wife, 
Mary Lou, have lived since their marriage. The Unraus' three sons now 
manage the farm. Active in the Alexanderwohl Church, Glen Unrau has 
taught Sunday school and is presently congregational chairman. He is 
also active with the Western District Mennonite Men's organization. 

Marvin Esau has been in the grain elevator business for 30 years, 26 
years as manager of the Farmers Grain Cooperative. Recently he was 
recognized for 30 years of service as a volunteer fireman. Marvin's wife, 
Gladys, has worked in the Walton (Kan.) Co-op office for 20 years. She 
also helps at the Newton Community Play School. The Esaus have four 
grown children, all living with their families in Harvey County. For 
nearly 30 years Gladys has worked in the preschool Christian education 
program of the Bethel College Mennonite Church. 

Jim Graber grew up on the farm near Hesston, Kan., where his father 
farmed until he took over in 1979. Graber pastures 800 sheep and raises 
wheat, corn and hay on his 450-acre farm. He is vice president of the 
Kansas Sheep Association. In 1984 he was named Kansas Lamb Pro- 
ducer of the Year. A member of the Kansas MCC Task Force on the Farm 
Crisis, Graber's perspectives on current rural issues are broadened by his 
work as an income-tax consultant. Ruby and Jim Graber are members of 
the Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston. 

A reporter looks at 
the U.S. and Canadian 
farm crisis 

Jim Romahn 

". . . the land is mine and you 
are but aliens and my tenants. 
Throughout the country that 
you hold as a possession, you 
must provide for the 
redemption of the land" 
(Leviticus 25:23, 24). 

About 10 percent of the farmers in 
Canada and the United States have 
been bankrupted in the past seven 
years. Another 15 to 20 percent are in 
dire financial straits, unlikely to sur- 
vive without some form of government 
assistance. It is the worst farming 
depression since the 1930s, and it per- 
vades both sides of the Canadian-US. 

Canadian farmers are shielded by 
the fact that the U.S. dollar has appre- 
ciated in value and by stringent im- 
port controls on poultry and dairy 
products. U.S. farmers, on the other 
hand, are offered more direct assis- 
tance from the federal treasury. Yet, on 
balance, statistics indicate the failure 
rate is running about equal. 

Aside from the obvious differences of 
climate and soils, the biggest differ- 
ence between farming in the United 
States and Canada is government poli- 
cies. Although they differ, they etre 
surprisingly similar in their objectives. 

Both nations have an abundance of 
resources for farming, including prime 
farm land; water; skilled people will- 
ing to make huge sacrifices to be 
farmers; money and technology. Given 
this abundance of resources, whenever 
there is the faintest glimmer of profit- 
ability in agriculture, the desire of 
thousands of people to become farmers 
(or to become farmers on a larger 
scale), immediately expresses itself in 
the form of additional investments and 

The Mennonite (ISSN 0025-9330) seeks to witness, teach, motivate and build the Christian fellowship within the context of Christian love and freedom under the guidance of the 
Scriptures and the Holy Spirit It is published semimonthly by the General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 671 14. Subscription rates: one year, 
$1 4 50 U S $1 6 50 Canada- two years, $26 U.S. , $29 Canada; three years, $35 U.S. , $39 Canada. Foreign subscriptions add 50 cents per year to U.S. rate. Second class postage 
paid at Newton, KS, and additional mailing offices. Printed in U.S.A. POSTMASTER: Send Form 3579 to The Mennonite, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 

100 MARCH 11, 1986 

Faced with this challenge of abun- 
dance and resulting marginal returns, 
politicians have tried to help farmers. 
In the United States the main ap- 
proach has been to improve farm in- 
comes by paying direct subsidies, 
deficiency payments and by buying, 
storing and exporting surplus commod- 
ities. In Canada the economy is less 
diverse and industrialized, and politi- 
cians have therefore had less money to 
spend, so they have relied more on 
import restrictions and domestic sup- 
ply management. Canada has no 
school lunch program but donates 
more food to overseas aid. 

On both sides of the border, govern- 
ments have undertaken almost all of 
the research, development and educa- 
tion related to agriculture and farming 
and have offered substantial subsidies 
to lower the cost of borrowing to buy 

At the moment, the key subsidy in 
the United States is for corn and soy- 
bean producers. The result is that 
more corn and soybeans are produced 
than would otherwise be the case, 
more are held in inventory and more 
are exported into world markets. The 
effect of high production, high invento- 
ries and low prices ripples across all 
other crops and into the livestock, 
poultry and dairy sectors of the U.S. 
farming economy. The U.S. federal 
government policy respecting corn and 
soybeans has also had a powerful influ- 
ence on land prices. 

In Canada the key subsidies are for 
grain transportation to export from the 
Prairies and for the dairy industry. 
The grain transportation subsidy was 
hidden in the past because it was a 
fixed rate that could not increase. Now 
it's out in the open in the form of a 
subsidy from the federal treasury to 
the railways of more than $600 million 
a year. It has the effect of enabling 
grain farmers to set a higher price for 
their grain, which must compete with 
sellers from the United States and 
other countries around the world. 

There is something spiritual 
in the tilling of the soil. When 
the ground is prepared and 
seeds are planted to die in it, 
new life miraculously springs 
forth and multiplies that 
which is planted. 

The Canadian subsidy to the dairy 
industry is about $300 million a year. 
It's $6.03 per hectoliter, paid directly 
to dairy farmers, but only for the 
amount of milk required for the do- 
mestic market. If farmers produce 
more, they have to sell it at depressed 
world market prices. To signal that 
message back to farmers, marketing 
boards charge levies against every 
gallon of surplus milk dairy farmers 
ship to market. All farmers have a 
quota, so they know exactly how much 
milk will draw the full domestic price, 
plus subsidy, and how much will at- 
tract the cripplingly high ($38 per 
hectoliter) export levy. Having ac- 
cepted these restrictions on production, 
dairy farmers have in return been 
granted protection against imports, 
which might otherwise undermine 
their production restraints. 

This general approach has been cop- 
ied by the chicken, egg and turkey 
industries but without benefit of direct 
government subsidies. In the poultry 
industry that has meant that imports 
from the United States have been 
strictly restrained by quota so that 
farmers can set prices high enough to 
cover their production costs for the 
volume that's needed for the Canadian 
market, and no more. 

In the United States, similar produc- 
tion restraints apply in the so-called 
land-set-asides or milk levies, but 
these are voluntary. Farmers can 
choose to participate and benefit from 
the subsidies or stay out and take 
whatever the market offers. In Canada 
the controls are mandatory, and any- 
body who wants a piece of the dairy, 
chicken, egg or turkey business has to 
buy a quota, which is the right to mar- 
ket products at the protected price. 

The effect of U.S. subsidies has been 
to drive up the price of land. The effect 
of Canadian policies has been to drive 
up the cost of quota for supply man- 
agement commodities, and of land for 
other commodities. Quota is now the 
biggest cost of getting into the dairy 

and poultry industries. In Ontario, 
milk quota costs about $7,000 per cow 
and egg quota about $35 per hen. 

Why is the farming situation so 
much worse today? 

The main reason was the 1972 begin- 
ning of a new boom in grain exports. 
That's when Russia decided to buy 
massive quantities of feed and food 
grains. Russia and China were buying 
from Canada long before they became 
the U.S. farmers' best clients, so the 
effects of their buying were felt in 
Canada for a few years before the huge 
impact that came in 1972 and has 
been dubbed the Great Russian Grain 
Robbery. Not only did Russia buy mas- 
sive amounts of grain that year, driv- 
ing prices to three and four times pre- 
purchase levels, but it stayed in the 
market, and grain prices were sus- 
tained at a new high for several years. 

Resources poured into U.S. and Ca- 
nadian agriculture— new capital, ma- 
chinery and farmers. Production 
poured back out. With the exception of 
the 1983 harvest, which was reduced 
by drought and the U.S. Payment-in- 
Kind (PIK) program, North America's 
farmers produced far more food than 
they could sell at a price adequate to 
cover their new and higher production 
costs. Government subsidies made up 
some but not all of the margin. 

And that's where our agriculture is 
today, stuck with an abundance of 
resources tied up in producing more 
food for which the world is unable or 
unwilling to pay a price adequate to 
cover costs. There's plenty of demand 
from poor and hungry people, but they 
lack resources to pay the going price. 
That situation is unlikely to improve 
in the next decade or two. That leaves 
two basic options— massive government 
subsidies to provide farmers just 
enough income to keep them farming 
or a massive lowering of production 
costs, either by bankrupting thousands 
of existing farmers and driving their 
land prices lower or by finding and 
implementing cost-saving technology. 

Faced with this difficult situation, 
farmers have asked politicians for 
help. They have asked for: (1) Strong 
action against imports, including U.S. 
pleas for duties and quotas against 
Canadian pork, potatoes, beef and 
raspberries. (2) Subsidies to lower the 
cost of borrowing money. (3) Moratori- 
ums on foreclosures and bankruptcies. 
(4) Export subsidies. (5) Direct subsi- 
dies, massive government purchases of 
surplus commodities and price support 

All of these policies would likely 
make the situation worse in the longer 
run because all would attract or hold 
more resources in agriculture. The 
U.S. difficulties are made worse by the 
high value of the dollar, which makes 
it difficult to export and pulls imports 
into the country. Part of the reason for 
the high value of the U.S. dollar is 
massive government borrowing, some 
of it to pay for farm subsidies. For- 
eigners lend their money to the U.S. 
government because the risks are low 
and interest rates are high. So money 
flows into the United States and 
pushes the value of the US. dollar 
higher. This will eventually correct 
itself, and Canadian farmers and those 
in other nations will begin to have 

more trouble selling their products to 
rich U.S. buyers and will face in- 
creased competition in their own mar- 
kets from U.S. commodities. 

If the Canadian and US. dollars 
return to par, there will be massive 
adjustments to be made in Canada's 
fruit, vegetable, grain, beef and pork 
industries. The suffering will be most 
painful for those who bought into the 
business while the US. dollar was 
high and therefore paid premium 
prices for their land and livestock. 

One final word about credit. 

In Canada the main sources of farm 
credit have been the federal govern- 
ment's Farm Credit Corporation, five 
chartered banks and family members, 
mainly parents. In the United States 
more money is made available from 
private lending institutions, which 
enjoy some form of backing from gov- 
ernment policy. In both countries farm 
debt mounted sharply in the wake of 
post- 1972 grain prices and inflating 
land values. 

In the United States, as farmers 
have experienced trouble paying back 
their loans, some financial institutions 
have failed. That has created turmoil 
for all other clients of those institu- 
tions. So far nothing similar has hap- 

pened to Canadian farmers. 

But the Canadian system is under 
heavy pressure. The Farm Credit Cor- 
poration is carrying about $5 billion in 
loans on its books, and about 20 per- 
cent of its clients are unable to pay 
interest and principal. It's the other 
FCC clients who must make up for 
that loss in the form of higher interest 
rates. As for the Canadian banks, 
their lending portfolios are so diverse 
that they have so far chosen to write 
off their farm lending losses and are in 
no imminent danger of collapse. They 
have taken even larger losses in over- 
seas lending and in loans to the oil 
and gas industry in Canada yet con- 
tinue to be profitable. In the United 
States many banks depend so heavily 
on farmers that they face collapse. 
Banks that are members of the farm 
credit system have $75 billion out- 
standing and estimate that 20 percent 
of those loans are in trouble. It's likely 
that federal governments in both Can- 
ada and the United States will provide 
more backing to the farm credit sys- 
tem, either as guarantees on farm 
loans or as subsidies on interest rates 
or both. Again, the main impact of 
those policies will be to hold more 
resources in agriculture— both money 
and people— than would otherwise be 
the case. 

In summary then, the farming sector 
of both the Canadian and U.S. econo- 
mies is undergoing the worst depres- 
sion since the 1930s. About 10 percent 
of the farmers have been bankrupted 
in the past seven years, with the suf- 
fering beginning with beef feedlot 
operators in the late 1970s and extend- 
ing now to pork and cash crop farmers. 
The situation is so bad today that an- 
other 15 to 20 percent of the farmers 
in both countries could be wiped out 
soon. Governments in both countries 
have adopted policies aimed at improv- 
ing farm incomes, but in both cases 
the policies have also tended to in- 
crease production costs and to price 
North American food out of the reach 
of the vast majority of the world's hun- 
gry consumers. Farmers on both sides 
of the border are pressuring for subsi- 
dies and policies which would tend to 
reinforce the dilemma, and politicians 
are likely to respond to the lobbies 
with subsidies and trade policies that 
will bolster farm revenues and there- 
fore hold resources in agriculture. The 
longer-term prospects for farmers 
therefore range from bleak to dismal. 
Those who quit this year will have to 
build new lives and careers. Those who 
survive face the prospect of a lifetime 
of hard work, high risks and low re- 
turns, broken only occasionally by 
short spurts of higher commodity 
prices. A Meetinghouse article • 

our communities need each other. 
When we permit this truth to 
develop among us, it will also 
point to our natural need for God. 


MARCH 11, 1986 


How deserted lies the city (Lamentations 1) 

Monty Ledford 

I am writing this article on a holiday 
weekend. We are visiting my wife's 
parents in Holland, Mich. It's cozy 
here. Elaine and Grandma are shop- 
ping; the baby is napping. How unlike 
the terrible scenes of Lamentations. 
My stable, comfortable life sets me a 
world away from the suffering of an- 
cient Jerusalem. Isn't that one of the 
difficulties of understanding such a 
book? My entire pudgy (or dieting), air- 
conditioned generation knows little or 
nothing of real deprivation. Even 
America's wars have devastated other 
people's lands, not our own. 

There is a further difficulty. I am an 
individualist. What do I care of others' 
troubles, aside from the sympathy I 
feel when I imagine similar things 
happening to me? This individualism 
also represents a Grand Canyon of 
separation from the ancient Jewish 
poet. For him the family, the tribe, the 
people was the basic unit of thought 
and feeling. His mind might run like 
this: What good does it do for me to 
prosper if my people are in disgrace? 
My thoughts are more likely to be, I 
gotta be me, whatever my family, 
church or nation experience. 

I believe God has included Lamenta- 
tions in the Bible to train us to see 
things as God sees them, which is the 
ultimate definition of seeing realisti- 
cally. If we enter this text as much as 
we can, we can better see suffering 
and the corporate life of the church 
and humanity as our own experience. 
And who knows when the bitter pill of 
these poems will help us to endure an 
epidemic of suffering? 

Chapter one features two speakers: 
the poet and the city of Jerusalem 
called "the Daughter of Zion." The 
poet speaks in vv. 1-11. Then the vic- 
tim of destruction speaks, like a TV 
scene when the announcer ends his 
report and the camera turns to focus 
on the disaster victim. Our stomachs 
tighten a little as she begins to speak, 
"Is it nothing to you?" 

The picture is not a happy one. In 
the background we distinctly hear 
groaning. Groans are mentioned five 
times in this chapter (vv. 4, 8, 11, 21, 
22). We are uncomfortable with groans 
and moans even in a nursing home on 
a deathbed, where, if anywhere, a per- 
son ought to have the right to groan. 

Groans embarrass us. When my wife 
and I lived in Philadelphia we lived 
next to a cemetery. On two separate 
Saturday mornings we heard the un- 
earthly wailing of a family member 
breaking down at the graveside. Our 
reserve was ruffled. The ancient Jews 
felt no such reserve. Dancing and 
shouting served for celebration, wail- 
ing and weeping for mourning. The 
deserted (v. 18), starving (19), dying 
city is a place of moaning. Perhaps our 
own grief would be more bearable if we 
could learn its expression. 

Worst of all is that "there is no one 
to comfort." Ten cents of hope will 
keep our spirits up in the face of 
$1,000 of discouragement. The Daugh- 
ter of Jerusalem has spent her last 10 
cents of hope, and five times in chap- 
ter one she says there is no one to 
comfort her (2, 9, 16, 17, 21). Yet in the 
midst of hopelessness she raises her 
voice to God (20ff). 

The burden of this prayer is twofold. 
For all the shock, the suffering and 
groans, the poet has the city admit her 
sins as the cause (5, 8, 14, 18, 20, 22). 
There is no attempt at excuse. It is 
this that makes me think that our 
nation, for all its piety and public pro- 
fession of evangelical faith, is far from 
revival. I am not sure we really see 

What does a city— or a 
nation— do when it 
feels pain? Could it 
help us all if we 
learned to moan 

ourselves as sinful. 

But Zion's prayer voices more uncom- 
fortable sentiments yet. Zion prays for 
revenge (21, 22). I know the difficulty 
with revenge prayers, and I will deal 
with that in time. For now, try to un- 
derstand this prayer from three angles: 
Its intensity is an index of Jerusalem's 
suffering, at which we are hardly in a 
position to turn up our noses; its exis- 
tence is a simple recognition of the 
reality of God's wrath; its form is a 
plea that God would punish the enemy 
as Zion had been punished. You and I 
often want God to treat our enemies 
the way they really deserve, while we 
maintain that he should treat us the 
way we think we deserve. Zion at least 
has already taken its share of the med- 

Your assignment: Count the number 
of times God himself is the subject of 
the sentences in 2:1-8. Also answer the 
following questions: How are a prophet 
and pastor alike? How different? Does 
a pastor have the same temptation as 
the prophet to preach acceptable 
things? Why or why not? Second in a 
series on Lamentations 

Monty Ledford, 11 Dean N.E., Grand 
Rapids, MI 49505, is pastor at the 
North Park Mennonite Church. 


We believe in baptism (Foundations for 

Erna J. Fast 

"Isaac reopened the wells that had 
been dug in the time of his father 
Abraham" (Genesis 26:18a). 

As Isaac reclaimed the heritage of 
his father, so today we need to recap- 
ture the wellsprings bound up in the 
symbolism of baptism. A better under- 
standing of this "distinguishing mark 
of separation and commitment," as the 
Mennonite Encyclopedia defines bap- 
tism, may offer more enlightened and 
empowering meaning for our daily life 
as Christians. The rite of baptism is 
rich with symbolic meaning. 

Symbols communicate the meaning 
of reality. When this is lost or becomes 
distorted, something of lesser value 
fills the vacuum. In our contemporary 

culture we are immersed in a sea of 
symbols. The power of the symbol is 
part of our lives— conscious or 

Christianity is clothed in symbolism. 
Its most sublime expression is the 
Incarnation— God's love made known 
in Christ. A beautiful Advent hymn 
sings thus: "Yea, through life, death, 
through sorrow and through sinning 
He shall suffice me, for he hath suf- 
ficed; Christ is the end, for Christ was 
the beginning, Christ the beginning, 
for the end is Christ" (Frederick W. H. 
Myers). As Advent marks an end and a 
beginning, as it declares the fulfill- 
ment of the promise of God, the mira- 
cle of the Infinite becomes finite, the 

Baptism is a symbol of God's cleansing and sending us forth as his servants in the world. 

act of saving grace completed for us in 
the life of Christ, so, in the words of 
P. T. Forsyth, (baptism) ended the way 
to Christ, and began the life in Christ. 
This reality, which we speak of as 
being born again, is bound up inexora- 
bly with the rite of baptism in our 
Anabaptist history. 

Baptism is basic to Jesus' ministry 
and to the life of the church from its 
beginning. Each of the Gospels gives 
an account of Jesus' baptism with 
God's own witness pointing to the 
fulfillment of Christ's mission (Luke 
12:50) and culminating on the cross 
with the cry, "It is finished." With his 
baptism in the Jordan Jesus forecast 
the cross, the price of our salvation, 
and in his resurrection we have victory 
over death. The Great Commission 
calls us to "go . . . baptize." At Pente- 
cost the church was born through the 
baptism of the Holy Spirit as the seal 
of God's witness to all the world 
(2 Corinthians 1:22). 

To present with greater clarity and 
force the powerful message in the rite 
of baptism is indeed a challenge for 
today. How often do members in our 
congregations refer only to outward 
form and practice when asked about 
the meaning of baptism in their lives? 
In how many instances is it perceived 
primarily as entry into membership in 
a local congregation? To what extent is 
the preparation almost routine and 
scheduled for specific age groups of 
young people with the questionable 
corollary of peer pressure and misdi- 
rected bonding with those involved in 
such preparation? For how many is 
baptism a purely personal, dated crisis 
experience? Where is the impact of the 
third of the three great church festi- 
vals—Pentecost—recognized in this 
event? Are the symbols of the rite 
comprehended as marks of separation 
and commitment? 

"In the beginning was the Word." No 
symbol is greater than a word. The 
spoken word articulates what is in 
mind and heart. The Gospels begin 
with the voice from heaven affirming 
Jesus' Sonship at his baptism. Paul 
writes, "The word is near you . . . con- 
fess with your mouth." Our Anabap- 
tist heritage points to the importance 
placed on articulating through the 
spoken word one's pledge of renuncia- 
tion and obedience at the moment of 
baptism. It suggests words of testi- 
mony, confession and commitment. 

104 MARCH 11, 1986 

>ur faith— 6) 

Where this is missing there is tremen- 
dous loss. 

Water has been an impressive sym- 
bol throughout human history. Scrip- 
ture is filled with its imagery: foun- 
tains of the deep, waves and billows, 
streams in the desert. Water as a sym- 
bol for cleansing is obvious. However, 
far more significant is its message of 
passing through the water, fording a 
stream: its symbolism for birth and 
death. The story of Noah portrays the 
transcendent message of God's gra- 
cious act of salvation (1 Peter 3:20-21). 
The flood that drowns also raises to 
new life, to rebirth. We must look to 
the One who through his baptism into 
death on the cross was raised to eter- 
nal life. In baptism we die and are 
raised to new life in Christ (Romans 

How much there is in a name! To 
receive a name is to receive a most 
precious possession. The Bible speaks 
often of the power in a name and in 
naming. Jacob, after wrestling with 
God at Peniel, was told, "Your name 
will no longer be Jacob but Israel." 
When Simon was introduced to Jesus, 
he heard the words, "You will be called 
Peter." When Jesus was baptized, a 
voice from heaven spoke, "You are my 
Son, whom I love." As God named his 
Son, so at baptism we are called by 

name and baptized into his name upon 
repentance and confession of faith. 

Rodin's Hand of God and Michel- 
angelo's Creation of Adam portray, as 
no words can, the symbolism found in 
a hand. In Scripture hands were raised 
in blessing or in curse. Jesus healed by 
the touch of his hand. Paul reminds 
Timothy of the gift received through 
the laying on of his hands (2 Timothy 

"At our baptism hands are laid on 
us and we are called to a common 
ministry in Christ. " 

1:6-7). At our baptism hands are laid 
on us and we are called to a common 
ministry in Christ. In our Anabaptist 
tradition, ordination to the priesthood 
of all believers becomes particularly 
significant. We are all ordained to 
ministry in baptism. 

Every baptism within the congrega- 
tion at worship becomes a Pentecost 
experience. The dove in Noah's time 
and at Jesus' baptism, the rushing 
wind and tongues of fire on the day of 
Pentecost, these biblical symbols con- 
firm a new age of grace; they express 
the overwhelming gift of the Holy 
Spirit, an occasion for renewal, for a 
fresh outpouring of God's presence on 

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all who participate in repentance and 
praise. So at baptism "we were all 
baptized by one Spirit into one body" 
(1 Corinthians 12:13). 

Thus in the rite of baptism we accept 
the charge to discipleship within this 
community of faith, relying on the 
Spirit for enabling grace to witness 
and to serve the cause of Christ. 
Within this new covenant our baptism 
is "not primarily the symbol of a past 
experience" (H. S. Bender in Anabap- 
tist Vision) as an entry into the 
church, but it becomes a daily re- 
minder that we are called not only to 
have faith in Christ but to be followers 
of Christ. It is not "I was baptized" 
but "I am baptized." 

Erna J. Fast, 321 N. Maple, Hutchin- 
son, KS 67501, is a member of First 
Mennonite Church. 

MCC openings 

Mennonite Central Committee in Akron, Pa., 
has immediate employment opportunities for an 
experienced secretary in MCC Peace Section 
and for an administrative assistant in 
Information Services. Also coming up in spring 
and summer are openings for secretaries, 
receptionist and administrative assistants. 

For more information contact: 
MCC Personnel Services 
Box M 

Akron, PA 17501 
(717) 859-1151; 


MCC Canada 

201-1483 Pembina Highway 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2C8 
(204) 475-3550. 

MCC BC executive director 

Applications are invited for the position of 
executive director for MCC BC. 

—Position opens early 1986, appointment 
time flexible 

— Salary commensurate with MCC policy 

— a scriptural understanding that combines a 

word-and-deed expression; 
— proven administrative experience, with a 

service record desirable; 
— apt communication skills. 

Apply to: 
Personnel Committee, MCC BC 
Box 2038 

Clearbrook, BC V2T 3T8 
(604) 859-4141. 


Support for the peace movement in 
Thailand has increased in recent 
months. A successful peace campaign 
launched last summer by non-govern- 
mental organizations helped to create 
public awareness of Thailand's emerg- 
ing peace movement. Mennonite 
Central Committee was involved pe- 
ripherally in these peace initiatives. 
Campaign officials studied books and 
articles from MCC Thailand's peace 
library as they organized the cam- 
paign events. 

The executive committee of the Gen- 
eral Board of the General Conference 
achieved, in 1985, parity of male/fe- 
male representation, according to the 
September/October 1985 MCC Wom- 
en's Concerns Report. This is the only 
one of the 30 boards surveyed for this 
issue to carry that distinction. Several 
others, however, approach parity: the 
GC Commission on Education, GC Com- 
mission on Overseas Mission and MC 
Mennonite Publication Board. The over- 
all rate of women's participation on 
GC boards, excluding the Conference 
of Mennonites in Canada, is 40 per- 
cent, compared to 30 percent for MC 
boards and 18 percent for MCC boards. 


'Obstacles to the lake' discussed 

Conference shows Filipinos' struggle, spirit 

Minneapolis (Meetinghouse)— In the 
Adams-Jefferson room of a hotel here, 
about 60 people from various church 
groups entered the history, the strug- 
gles and the hopes of the Philippines. 
Except for meals and sleeping, they 
lived there Feb. 19-22 during a confer- 
ence sponsored by Mennonite Central 
Committee Peace Section. 

Most of the participants, which in- 
cluded Filipinos, had served in or at 
least visited the country that has be- 
come a "hot spot" and much in the 
news. One person had served there 
under MCC from 1946-49. The meet- 
ings had the flavor of a reunion of dear 
friends, and planner Earl Martin of 
MCC's East Asia department ex- 
pressed the wish that everyone there 
could "visit the Philippines in these 

"The Struggle and the Spirit," the 
conference's theme, was evident in 
many ways. In contrast to much of the 
news in the North American press, the 
struggle is not between President Fer- 
dinand Marcos and opposition leader 
Corazon Aquino, with communist in- 
surgents a third force. The major 
struggle, said resource people repeat- 
edly, is between the majority of the 
people, who face increasing poverty 
and violence, and a ruling elite that 
includes the military and supports 
multinational corporations. The 
largely church-based, people's move- 
ment, though virtually ignored by the 
press, is the most significant element 
in the current Philippine struggle, 
according to resource people. 

Two of these resource people were 

At a simulated Philippine coffee shop (from 
left): Brenda Stoltzfus, Earl Martin, Karl 
Gaspar, Jet Birondo 

Filipinos: Karl Gaspar, a church leader 
recently released after two years as a 
political prisoner, and Jet Birondo, a 
church woman who directs a child 
development center and has worked for 
human rights concerns. In several 
sessions, using lectures, slides, songs, 
skits, liturgy and symbols, they com- 
municated "The Philippines: Who are 
we? What is our history? Our econ- 
omy? Our church?" "Our Stories, Our 
Lives" and "What is Violence? Where 
is Hope?" 

The latter topic prompted extended 
discussion. How to live non-violently 
in the Philippine setting, where op- 
pressive violence is so pervasive, is a 
question with which MCC struggles 
deeply, said Martin. Birondo said that 
the Filipino church also struggles with 
the question, though less in terms of 
non-violence vs. violence than justice 
vs. injustice. 

According to Gaspar, the direction of 
what he calls "the prophetic church's 
struggle" derives from the people who 

are suffering. "The Filipinos are basi- 
cally a non-violent people," he said, 
"but in certain instances individuals 
may decide to support the armed 

Dave Williams, a United Methodist 
who spent 15 years in the Philippines, 
said, "To confront violence it is impor- 
tant to be in the gray areas of risk, to 
place ourselves at the heart of the 
struggle for life." 

The struggle of Filipinos was further 
communicated through the following: 

•the film "Global Assembly Line," 
which depicts the suffering of workers, 
both in the United States and Third 
World countries, at the hands of multi- 
national corporations; 

•Walden Bello, co-director of the 
Philippine Human Rights Lobby, who 
offered an extensive analysis of U.S. 
military strategy as it relates to the 

•MCC worker Brenda Stoltzfus, who 
showed slides and told stories of 
women caught in prostitution at the 
U.S. naval base at Olongapo; 

•Dan and Esther Epp-Tiessen, re- 
cently returned from the Philippines, 
where they were country representa- 
tives for MCC, who described how 
MCC is responding there. 

Balancing this emphasis on struggle 
was the portrayal of Filipinos' hope 
and joy. This came out in the lively 
singing, joyful dancing and jubilant 
worship. Perry Yoder, who spent sev- 
eral months in the Philippines, con- 
trasted the glum faces he sees among 
North American church people and the 
joyful hope he experienced with Filipi- 

106 MARCH 11, 1986 

The governing body of the General 
Conference has established a fund to 
assist small congregations in sending 
delegates to the organization's trien- 
nial sessions in Saskatoon. Individuals 
or congregations are encouraged to 
send a contribution for "Saskatoon 
delegate travel assistance" to 600 
Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 
0M4, or Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 
Congregations wishing travel assis- 
tance should submit a request to the 
general secretary at the Newton ad- 
dress. Every congregation is encour- 
aged to have at least one delegate at 
the conference sessions. 

"Tell your friends in America about 
our oppression. Tell them about our 
struggle," said a Basotho migrant 
mine worker involved in South African 
trade unions during an interview with 
Mennonite Central Committee worker 
Randall Eigsti. "Apartheid is on its 
way out. It's only a matter of time," 
said the migrant worker. When asked 
what Eigsti could do, he said, "Tell 
[your friends] about our struggle. Tell 
them we are willing to live with the 
hardships of economic sanctions be- 
cause it will speed up our liberation." 

The Biblical Way of Peace by 

Helmut Harder, Winnipeg, is now 
available in at least six languages in 
addition to English: German, French, 
Spanish, Chinese, Telegu and Bengali. 
His Guide to Faith has been translated 
into Chinese. Harder is on the faculty 
of Canadian Mennonite Bible College 
in Winnipeg. 

Marge Ediger leads a reader's theater group 
in a candlelight procession. 

nos. This was less talked about than 
demonstrated at the conference. Gas- 
par and Birondo, in particular, had 
participants alternately laughing and 
in tears. 

Yoder, associate professor of Old Tes- 
tament at Associated Mennonite Bibli- 
cal Seminaries, Elkhart, Ind., led three 
Bible studies under the theme "God's 
Spirit: People's Struggle." He first 
discussed "Law and Liberation" and 
noted that biblical law is always post- 
liberation law. Under "Struggle and 
Hope" he said that biblical hope is not 
pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking but 
actively involved in the present. "Hope 
comes out of struggle, not struggle out 
of hope," he said. Lastly he spoke of 
"Love and Transformation." He called 
upon MCC to re-evaluate their mission 
strategy. "Development makes sense 
only in a post-liberation context in 
which people choose their direction." 

In discussing MCC strategy, the Epp- 
Tiessens referred to the development 
image of teaching people to fish in- 
stead of simply giving them fish. But 
in the Philippines the people can't get 
to the lake, and MCC's main approach 
has been a preventative one of "obsta- 
cle removal." Since Philippine farmers 
are losing their land to multinational 
corporations, they have no means for 
development. Obstacles to the lake are 
largely foreign-made, and the greatest 
obstacle, according to the Epp-Ties- 
sens, is U.S. military aid. Therefore, 
education of North Americans is an 

important element of MCC work. Thus 
this conference. 

Although reporting included political 
and theological analyses and strate- 
gies, more up front were personal sto- 
ries. Participants shared names and 
pictures of people known by them who 
have been imprisoned, tortured or 
killed by the Philippine government. 

A litany of affirmation, confessions, 
challenges and commitments brought 
the conference to a close. At the end, 

Gaspar and Birondo used a piece of 
multicolored cloth, an important sym- 
bol in the Philippine struggle, as a 
means of remembrance. The cloth was 
torn into pieces and handed to each 
participant. The ripping of the cloth 
reminded one of the terrible tearing of 
the lives of Filipinos, and the pieces of 
fabric were fragile treasures that each 
one carried tenderly home as they left 
the room, as they left the Philippines. 
Gordon Houser 

Letter to be sent to churches 

From Feb. 19-22 we, an ecumenical group of some 55 people, met in a confer- 
ence sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee on the Philippine situation. 
The following concerns surfaced: 

1. We learned about the poverty and oppression afflicting most Filipinos: 
farmers losing their land to local landlords and transnational corporations, 
and workers receiving less than a subsistence wage but harassed and killed 
when they attempt to request what is lawfully theirs. 

2. We learned about Alex, Anna Mae, Trank, Lena and many others who 
have been victims of torture, imprisonment and death at the hands of the 
Philippine military because of their efforts to help the poor. We learned about 
the struggle of people in the Philippine church who seek to be faithful to the 
message of Jesus by preaching good news to the poor and setting captives free 
(Luke 4:18-19). 

3. We are concerned that extensive U.S. aid has allowed President Fer- 
dinand Marcos to rule by force and victimize ordinary Filipinos. 

4. We are concerned that while the U.S. administration seeks to distance 
itself from Marcos it assumes the right to intervene in Philippine affairs. This 
denies the right to self-determination. 

5. We are concerned about the attempts to picture Filipino resistance as 
conflict between communism and democracy. The farmers and workers are 
more concerned about food and education for their children than about politi- 
cal ideology. 

Consequently we commit ourselves and invite others to: 

1. Become more informed historically about the Philippine situation and 
learn from the ordinary Filipino. 

2. Urge our fellow citizens and our political leaders to help end military 
and economic aid to President Marcos and any administration which might 
replace him that is not committed to the welfare of all Filipinos. 

3. Pray for an end to violence and oppression in the Philippines. Pray that 
"justice might roll down like waters, and righteousness like a neverending 
stream" (Amos 5:24). 

4. Express our solidarity with the Philippine church as it seeks to discern 
how to serve Christ in a difficult situation. 


Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., 
has completed fund raising for its $2 
million library project by meeting the 
terms of a $200,000 Kresge Founda- 
tion challenge grant. Completion of 
the new library is scheduled for Au- 
gust, and its dedication will be one of 
many events planned during the next 
year to celebrate the school's 

Harold and Katherine Lue of Hwa- 
lien, Taiwan, were in Elkhart, Ind., for 
the month of January for her to study 
during the interterm at Mennonite 
Biblical Seminary. An evangelist at 
Mei-Lun Church in Hwalien, her stud- 
ies were subsidized by organizations 
within the General Conference, includ- 
ing Women in Mission and Ministerial 
Leadership Services. Harold Lue is 
assistant business manager at Menno- 
nite Christian Hospital in Hwalien. 

"This weekend will go down as a 

historic occasion in the annals of Men- 
nonite Collegiate Institute [Gretna, 
Man.]," said outgoing board chairman 
Henry Enns after a weekend of discus- 
sion and priority setting involving 
some 65 board members, staff and 
spouses. Under the guidance of facili- 
tator John Neufeld, president of Cana- 
dian Mennonite Bible College, Winni- 
peg, think tank participants worked at 
purpose, curriculum, students, resi- 
dence, public relations, sports and 
music, and staffing. 

Bernie Wiebe resigns as editor 

Newton, Kan.— 
Bernie Wiebe, 
Winnipeg, who 
has served as edi- 
tor of The Menno- 
nite since 1976, 
has resigned effec- 
tive Aug. 31. He 
will teach and do 
for the Mennonite 

Studies Centre at 

the University of Winnipeg. 

Wiebe, a native of Altona, Man., 
holds a bachelor's degree in psychol- 
ogy from Goshen (Ind.) College, a BD 
from Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 
Elkhart, Ind., and a doctorate in coun- 
seling and guidance from the Univer- 

Job opening 

Lakewood Retreat Center has a full-time head 
cook/food service position open. Lakewood is a 
Christian retreat and camp conference center 
owned and operated as an arm of the 
Mennonite Church. Lakewood is located half 
way between Brooksville and Dade City, Fla. 

For more information, call or write: 
Lakewood Retreat Center 
c/o Terry Burkhalter 
25458 Dan Brown Hill Road 
Brooksville, FL 33512 
(904) 796-4097 

Help needed 

Swift Current Bible Institute is now receiving 
applications for the following positions: 
principal, beginning in June, 
administrative assistant, beginning in May, 
teachers, beginning in September. 

Please send all applications and inquiries to: 

Attention: Personnel Committee 
Box 1268 

Swift Current, SK S9H 3X4. 

sity of North Dakota. From 1973-76 he 
served as president of Freeman (S.D.) 
Junior College and Academy. He had 
previously been an elementary and 
high school teacher and conference 
minister for the Conference of Menno- 
nites in Manitoba, with responsibili- 
ties in counseling and radio-TV 

Position in deaf ministries 

The Orrville Mennonite Church is interested 
in finding someone trained in deaf ministries 
and signing to serve at least half-time in 
leading the eight-year-old deaf ministry. 

Please send letter of interest and/or resume to: 
Orrville Mennonite Church 
1305 W. Market St. 
Orrville, OH 44667 
(216) 682-5801. 

As editor he has overseen changes in 
the format of The Mennonite as it has 
gone from a 16-page weekly to a 24-page 
biweekly and now semimonthly paper. 
He also oversaw a readership survey in 
1980 and the magazine's 100th anni- 
versary and the conference's 125th 
anniversary issue last year. 

Job openings 

Director, skill trainer and direct-care staff are 
needed at Oregon Mennonite Residential 
Services, Inc., (group homes for 
developmentally disabled adults). 

Send inquiries to: 
Jane Toews 
Teaching Research 
345 Monmouth Ave. 
Monmouth, OR 97361 
(503) 838-1220, ext. 401. 


nilO and MORE 

Menno Simons found a new faith 450 
years ago. You can reaffirm yours. 
Three of our 1986 tours are designed to 
recrystallize the Anabaptist experi- 
ence. Or choose a Bible Lands tour. Or 
follow the "Conestoga Trail" from Penn- 
sylvania to Ontario. 

Bible Lands 

Apr. 21 • 

May 3 

J. & N. Lederach 

Europe 86A 

June 13 

-July 2 

J. Gleysteen, R. Glngerlch 

Conestoga Trail 

June 30 

- July 7 

J. Ruth, A. Cressman 

Europe 86B 

July 28- 

Aug. 15 

W. Martin. J. Ruth 

Europe 86C 

Sept. 25 

-Oct. 13 

A. Cressman, C. Redekop 


1210 Loucks Ave. 
Scortdale, PA 15683 
(412) 887-6639 

1 31 Erb St. West 
Waterloo, ONT N2L 1T7 
(519) 886-3570 


MARCH 11, 1986 

Orlando and Violet Goering, mis- 
sionaries in Japan, are staff at the 
World Friendship Center in Hiro- 
shima. Part of their assignment is to 
visit A-bomb survivors ("hibakusha"). 
"There are 339 residents," say the 
Goerings, "in the Hiroshima A-Bomb 
Survivors' Home. Of these, 60 have no 
family or visits from family members." 
An adopt-a-hibakusha program will 
establish person-to-person contact with 
these individuals. More information is 
available from the Goerings through 
the Commission on Overseas Mission, 
Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 

Clearbrook, B.C.— Displaying a stun- 
ning economy of time, British Colum- 
bia Mennonites (General Conference) 
conducted their annual business in 
nine hours Feb. 21-22 at Eben-Ezer 
Church here. This efficiency was prob- 
ably enhanced by an all-day meeting 
of pastors, deacons and spouses. 

Even so, there was time for three 
substantial sermons on the theme 
"Living in Christ's Fullness." George 
E. Janzen, pastor of Cedar Valley 
Church in Mission, spoke on this full- 
ness through knowledge of Christ; Ron 
Voth, teacher at Columbia Bible Col- 
lege, Clearbrook, on spiritual aware- 
ness; and Walter Bergen, lay worker in 
Emmanuel Church, Clearbrook, on 
reconciliation. Bergen called the gath- 
ering from CMinBC's 26 congregations 
to stand with the oppressed. "We have 
become," he said, "sleek and fat in the 
promised land." 

The Conference of Mennonites in 
British Columbia is, in fact, a confer- 
ence of immigrants to the "promised 
land." German and Russian Menno- 
nites have been joined by Chinese 
Mennonites. Of 1,500 Mennonites in 
Vancouver, 15 percent are Chinese. Of 
the 40 Chinese congregations in the 
greater Vancouver Regional District, 
two belong to this conference. The 
Chinese population is 130,000. "Chi- 
nese ministries needs a larger percent 
of the budget," said Palmer Becker of 
Peace Church, Richmond. 

Coming in increasing numbers are 
Cambodians, East Indians, Hispanics, 
Koreans and Laotians. "Our mission 
field is knocking on our door," said 
Dorothy and Jacob Giesbrecht, who 
work among Indo-Canadians (mostly 
Sikh) in Clearbrook. 

"Now is a time of watering," said 
Sylang Kaneboodtra, pastor of an 
emerging Laotian congregation that 
numbers 21 members and 63 depen- 

More than 600 top progressive U.S. 
leaders are scheduled to meet in Wash- 
ington March 16-19 for education and 
action planning on major public policy 
issues. The gathering, entitled Impact 
Congressional Briefing, is sponsored by 
National Impact, which is supported 
by nearly two dozen national religious 
bodies, as well as by the National 
Council of Churches and Church 
Women United. For information con- 
tact National Impact, 100 Maryland 
Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20002, (202) 

if Mfi V m' 

Witness, 10 young Mennonites who 

performed at the conference 

dents. "Doors are open if we're willing 
to serve," reported Gerald Klassen, 
pastor from Burns Lake, referring to 
Native Canadians. He quoted one of 
his friends as saying, "Mennonites and 
Natives must be from the same stock." 

Delegates voted to support a church- 
planting project with $28,000. This 
committee also envisions planting 
three churches over five years and is 
submitting a plan for support 
($500,000 for personnel and buildings) 
to the expected General Conference 
Mennonite Development Fund Drive. 

In other action the delegates voted to 
give Columbia Bible College $39,000 
(also above budget) over three years to 
help retire the deficit, and they gave 
the camp committee permission to 
build an open-air gymnasium at the 
conference's 25-year-old Camp Squeah 
near Hope. They passed resolutions to 
survey attendance and curriculum 
patterns in their Sunday schools and 
to interact with Mennonites in Para- 
guay by exchange visits of pastors. 

Resolutions that were tabled (largely 
because limited time resulted in insuf- 
ficient information) included one that 
would have connected the newly 
formed Christian Conciliation Service 
to the education committee. What was 
not general information is that the 
Canadian government recently 
awarded CCS $100,000 to create a 

Lawrence (Kan.) Mennonite Fellow- 
ship welcomed 18 "official" members 
into the congregation during the Sun- 
day morning worship service Jan. 26. 
Moderator Bob Franz and pastor Jean 
Hendricks led in a brief service of 
commitment. The resident member- 
ship of LMF is now 31, with about 50 
attending on Sunday mornings. 


model— that this would not be added to 
the conference's budget. An ad hoc 
committee, appointed last year, will be 
reappointed to oversee the conciliation 
service that it created. Already, said 
David Gustafson (pastor in Langley), 
"several instances of deep healing are 
evidence of Christ's fullness among us. 
Unresolved conflicts are the scandal of 
the church. In Anabaptist-Mennonite 
churches, they are a travesty. We have 
resources. Let's use them." 

The education committee will be 
providing "teams on the road" to re- 
source the congregations. A Christian 
education resource list (of people) was 
distributed, and a drama and arts 
festival is planned for 1986. 

Delegates approved in principle that 
youth worker Aiden Enns be moved 
from part-time to full-time employ- 
ment. Conference minister Peter 
Kehler admonished the gathering to 
"let young people try their wings, in 
Sunday school teaching and in worship 

New Canadians were largely absent 
from the ballot. This will likely change 
soon as the conference's 4,500 mem- 
bers take seriously the mission field at 
their door. Muriel Thiessen Stackley 

Principal needed 

The executive committee of Freeman 
Academy, an inter-Mennonite junior-senior high 
school in Freeman, S.D., is seeking applicants 
for the position of principal. This position, 
including responsibilities as chief executive 
officer, opens July 1 . 

For further details contact: 
LaVerne Graber 

Chairman of the Board of Directors 
Route 2 
Box 187 

Freeman, SD 57029 
(605) 925-7782. 

CMinBC acknowledges mission field at its 


The 45th reunion of CPS Camp No. 5 
at Colorado Springs, Colo., will be held 
July 20 at Ponderosa Camp north of 
Colorado Springs in the Black Forest. 
The camp is also tentatively reserved 
for July 19. For reservations and infor- 
mation write to Harry Froese, 32788 
Co. Road 34, La Junta, CO 81050. 

Marvin Frey, Mennonite Central 
Committee country representative in 
Maseru, Lesotho, called Jan. 20 follow- 
ing the bloodless coup of the same day 
there. He said there was "widespread 
support for the change among the gen- 
eral population, church leadership, the 
South Africans and the opposition." 
However, Frey said that South African 
refugees in Lesotho are concerned that 
"a move to the right politically may 
result in [their] repatriation to South 

Christian Leaders for Responsible 
Television is a new organization that 
represents the largest and most di- 
verse number of Christian leaders to 
ever jointly address a common social 
issue in the history of the United 
States, according to Donald E. Wild- 
mon, its executive director. It is a new 
coordinated effort to reduce sex, vio- 
lence, profanity and anti-Christian 
programming by the networks. The 
group is composed of nearly 1,600 
Christian leaders, including the heads 
of approximately 70 denominations. 
Among them is Vern Preheim, general 
secretary of the General Conference. 

IMPC comes of age, sees growing role 

Hyderabad, India (MWC)-The Inter- 
national Mennonite Peace Committee, 
a fledgling organization, is coming of 
age. This was evident from the discus- 
sion and decisions undertaken by the 
committee as it met here Dec. 5-7, 

Activities included peace seminars in 
Hyderabad and Calcutta, preaching in 
Mennonite and Brethren in Christ 
churches on two Sundays, and three 
days of meetings for the committee 

In his opening remarks, Asian repre- 
sentative R. S. Lemuel of India empha- 
sized the crucial importance of a 
worldwide Mennonite peace group. He 
pointed out that while non-church 
peace groups have their place, they are 
not based on an eternal foundation. 

A highlight of the meeting was the 
report from committee members on the 
role of the church in the society and 
nation from which they come. 

Cesar del Aguila of Guatemala cau- 
tioned North American and European 
churches not to take unilateral peace 
action in Latin America without con- 
sulting with the churches in the re- 
gion. Mukanza Ilunga of Zaire high- 
lighted the lack of peace teaching and 
educational materials in Zaire and in 
Africa generally. 

Philip Mudenda of Zambia pointed to 
the close link between economics and 
justice. The high interest rates 
charged by the European and North 
American nations impoverish African 
countries. He challenged churches in 
the developed nations to speak to their 
governments against this injustice. 

R. S. Lemuel depicted the tensions 
faced by the Mennonite church in In- 
dia. Internally the church needs help 
in reconciling disputes peacefully. Ex- 
ternally the church lives as a minority 
(3 percent of India's population is 
Christian) in the midst of a society 

Mukanza Ilunga (left) of Zaire, who was 
chosen as chairman of IMPC, congratulates 
R. S. Lemuel of India on his efforts in 
organizing the IMPC's meetings. 

dominated by Hindus and Muslims. 

Both Hansulrich Gerber of Switzer- 
land and Helmut Harder of Canada 
responded by confessing that in Europe 
and North America there was not suf- 
ficient sensitivity to complicity in 
these problems and that matters of 
peace and justice were on the priority 
list of only a few congregations. 
The committee set three priorities: 
1. Provide resources and help plan 

Position in music 

Canadian Mennonite Bible College invites 
applications for a junior position in music. The 
major focus of this position will be in children's 
music (possibly forming a model children's 
choir), youth music and directing the CMBC 
Ensemble (a choral group which does 
considerable congregational visitation). 
Auxiliary areas could be accompanying, music 
theory, music therapy, private instruction, basic 
conducting or drama and fine arts. A master's 
degree is preferred, but not essential. A less 
than full-time appointment might be possible. 
Applicants should be committed to the 
Christian faith and in sympathy with the goals 
of the college. 

Send applications and resumes by March 31 to: 
Academic Dean 

Canadian Mennonite Bible College 
600 Shaftesbury Blvd. 
Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4. 

Mennonite World Conference events. 

2. Learn the importance of listening 
to and reflecting on the experience of 
the churches and sharing information. 
Statements should grow out of sharing 
and Bible study together, an approach 
that leads to new theological experi- 
ence and personal change in people's 

3. Support peace and justice educa- 
tion in the churches. 

The matter of representation was 
also reviewed. At present the commit- 
tee has one representative from each of 
the continents except Africa, which 
has two. It was decided that Asia and 
Latin America should be asked to in- 
crease their representation to two peo- 
ple as well. 

The next meeting is projected for 
1987 in conjunction with the MWC 
General Council sessions in Paraguay. 
A major agenda item will be to assist 
in planning program for the MWC 
assembly in Winnipeg in 1990. Helmut 

J^^t^f^l Vancouver. British Columbia, Canada 
^Sf^^S Home of The 1986 World Exposition 
^^^P^ May 2 -October 13, 1986 

Coming to Vancouver for 

EXPO '86? 

Why not plan to include an 
extraordinary week of camp for your 
child at 

You'll never be sorry! 

For complete details write to: 

Camp Squeah 
Route 3 
Hope, BC 
VOX 1 L0 

SQUEAH— "A Place of Refuge" 


MARCH 11, 1986 

One hundred Salvadoran refugee 
families have built a community com- 
plete with two school buildings, a 
clinic, a store and permanent houses 
in the Valley of Peace refugee settle- 
ment project in Belize, reports Minor 
Sinclair, Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee project director for the United Na- 
tions funded refugee project. Despite 
the success of the project, however, 
there was tremendous cost, says Sin- 
clair. Other needy refugees were over- 
looked in the attempt to make sure 
this "model" refugee settlement 

St. Paul Mennonite Fellowship, just 
over a year old, has in place a mission- 
ary agenda for 1986. Led by Helen 
Wells Quintela and sponsored by Faith 
Mennonite Church, Minneapolis, the 
dozen members are planning a second 
annual St. Paul Invitational for the 
four weekends in March. Members of 
the church and the fellowship visit 
homes in the West Side neighborhood, 
informing them of fellowship meetings 
and activities. Three Mennonite con- 
gregations in Mountain Lake, Minn., 
have been invited to join in this year's 

Daniel Yutzy of Upland, Ind., will 
lead a weekend of inspirational Bible 
study at the Laurelville Mennonite 
Church Center March 21-23. Focusing 
on the theme "Jesus: the Human 
Side," Yutzy will be joined by Ivonne 
and Glen Peachey of Belleville, Pa., in 
music leadership. For information 
contact LMCC, Route 5, Box 145, Mt. 
Pleasant, PA 15666, (412) 423-2056. 

Environmental disasters hurt too, MDS meeting told 

Winnipeg (MCCC)— "I hope you will be 
disturbed by what I'm going to say," 
Sister Margeen Hoffman told 450 peo- 
ple gathered here for the annual All- 
Unit meeting of Mennonite Disaster 
Service. "Yes, so disturbed that you 
will get together later to discuss ways 
to respond." 

With those words, she launched into 
a horrific description of scores of envi- 
ronmental disasters caused by society's 
blatant betrayal of the "trust given to 
us long ago by our Creator." 

She told how scores of water sources 
have been hopelessly fouled by indus- 
trial pollutants; how people as far 
apart as Bhopal, India and Middleport, 
N.Y, have suffered due to leaks of 
deadly chemicals; how cities and in- 
dustries continue to defy laws designed 
to prevent the escape of extremely 
dangerous chemicals like PCBs into 
the air and water; how poverty- 
stricken and ethnic-minority communi- 
ties have been forced to bear the brunt 
of indiscriminate dumping of radioac- 
tive and toxic wastes; how a middle- 
class neighborhood built on top of a 
poison dump suffered an epidemic of 
cancer and birth defects and experi- 
enced untold economic, physical and 
emotional pain. 

"The careless or unconcerned or 
unknown practices of 20 to 30 years 
ago are becoming the new disasters of 
today," she said, urging MDS to con- 
sider ways to relieve the pain that 
environmental disasters bring. 

Hoffman came to the MDS meeting 
with personal experience. A well-edu- 
cated Roman Catholic nun, she is di- 
rector of the Ecumenical Task Force on 
the Niagara Frontier, a group deeply 
involved with the infamous Love Canal 
and other environmental disasters now 
coming to light in that region. 

Speaking warmly of the efforts of 
MDS members, who came to the Feb. 

Sister Margeen Hoffman 

7-8 meeting from across North Amer- 
ica, she acknowledged that the needs 
of people involved in environmental 
calamities are much more complex and 
"less tangible and immediate" than 
those suffering natural disaster. 

However, where industrial interests 
wantonly ignore the biblical command 
to take care of the earth, Christians 
"are required by God to challenge the 
justice of such cruel and arrogant be- 
havior," she said. 

Also speaking at the meetings was 
Jacob Pauls, who gave a series of medi- 
tations on the conference theme, 
"Hope in the Context of Suffering." 

Ernie Isaac, a counselor with the 
Eden Mental Health Centre, Winkler, 
Man., provided helpful guidelines for 
dealing with the emotional and psy- 
chological effects of disaster on its 

Isaac said many suffer symptoms of 
"disaster syndrome," which may in- 
clude prolonged fears, inappropriate 
guilt, a preoccupation with the events 
of the disaster, a deep feeling of up- 
rootedness, anxiety or depression over 
the loss of a familiar community, a 
psychological need to re-erect fences 
and other symbols of privacy and iden- 
tity, and a conflict between the need 
for help and the desire to remain 
strong and independent. 

He said those who want to minister 
to disaster victims need to take seri- 
ously the grief victims experience over 
the loss of possessions as well as loved 
ones. They also need to be good listen- 
ers, sensitive to local values and cul- 
ture and respectful of the individual's 
need for privacy. They should also 
know where to refer people if long- 
term family counseling is needed. 

Though individuals vary in their 
reaction to disaster, Isaac said, for 
many it can be a turning point— it can 
crush their lives or be a catalyst for 
emotional and spiritual growth. A 
caring Christian volunteer who comes 
to bring hope in the midst of hopeless- 
ness can make the difference. 

The delegates also heard reports 
from units across the United States 
and Canada, where activity in 1985 
was centered on tornado sites in Penn- 
sylvania, Ohio and Ontario, floods and 
mudslides in Puerto Rico, and wide- 
scale flooding in Texas, Mississippi, 
Virginia, West Virginia, Florida and 
other parts of the eastern United 
States. Doreen Martens 

Service coordinator needed 

Service coordinator needed for Mennonite 
Community Closet Outreach Program at 

North Battleford, Sask. Position opens July 1 
and is for a 2- to 3-year term. The major 
objective of the outreach program is to provide 
Christian counsel and support to needy people 
who come in contact with the Closet. Training 
in social work and experience working with 
people of Native ancestry an asset. Position 
ideal for a married couple, as one partner could 
work part time in the Closet Store. Honorarium 
D.O.E. and financial requirements. 

Send resume to: 

Mennonite Community Closet 
1022 101st St. 

North Battleford, SK S9A 0Z3. 


Over 400 education, church and chari- 
table organizations received $3.2 mil- 
lion in gifts from donors through the 
Mennonite Foundation during 1985, 
reports Kent Stucky, Foundation man- 
ager. The Foundation, a service of 
Mennonite Mutual Aid, acts as a chan- 
nel for donors who wish to give prop- 
erty and other assets to organizations. 

Eastern Mennonite College, Harri- 
sonburg, Va., will host the 1986 Trans- 
cultural Seminar, a two-week course in 
international development. The pro- 
gram, to be held June 1-13, is designed 
for people who plan to serve overseas 
for the first time and for returning 
workers in agriculture, education, 
development, health, nutrition and 
related bodies. For more information 
contact the dean at EMC or call (703) 

In the future many Chinese students 
will get their university education 
through television, a method that's 
"convenient and cheap," according to 
Han Bangyan. Han, a top official in 
the Sichuan Bureau of Higher Educa- 
tion—the university authority of a 
province that numbers 100 million 
people— headed a six-member delega- 
tion that toured the United States and 
Canada in December 1985 at the invi- 
tation of the China Educational Ex- 
change program. 

Hart reflects on visit to the Philippines 

Newton, Kan. (GCMC)-Joining 13 
others on a 2V2-week journey to the 
Philippines Jan. 31-Feb. 16, Lawrence 
Hart, Clinton, Okla., represented a 
Native American point of view. "I was 
mistaken for a Filipino time and 
again," says Hart, who is Cheyenne. "I 
took it as a compliment." Five of the 
group, including Hart, were Menno- 
nite. Dorothy Friesen, Chicago, led the 

The tour, sponsored by Seed maga- 
zine of Atlanta, and Jubilee, Inc., of 
Philadelphia, had been planned long 
before the elections were announced. 
"On election day we observed masses 
of people at two precincts," reports 
Hart. "We talked to a lot of people on 
the street. After the polls closed we 
visited Tapat, an organization created 
to monitor voting rights violations. 
Volunteers were documenting reports 
from other provinces— reports of people 
being disenfranchised— having their 
names removed from voting lists. Be- 
fore we left Tapat, its telephone was 
either cut or disconnected. Many peo- 
ple boycotted the election, seeing it as 
a sham." 

When the tour group was allowed to 
scatter, Hart chose to go by himself to 
northern Luzon province. There he 
visited native miners who are extract- 
ing gold from their own land and who 
have organized themselves to resist a 
large and aggressive corporation. 

While there Hart found out about 
the Igorots, a tribe of native Filipinos. 
"They have renewed a peace pact be- 
tween tribal groups," says Hart. "I 
was pleased to learn that they are now 
working cooperatively. Their common 
enemy is imperialism. We should de- 
velop solidarity with this group. Some- 
one, perhaps a seminary student, 
should study them. They could help 
our body of knowledge of peace." 

Hart was struck by the "stark and 

brutal poverty" of many people. 

"Our only disappointment on the 
whole tour," Hart says, "was that we- 

U.S. citizens— were not allowed on 
Clark or Subic naval bases or in the 
U.S. embassy." 



April 17-19, 1986 Bethel College 
North Newton, Kansas 

Visions for the Christian 
College Community 

Featured Speakers— 

Elise Bouiding 

Professor Emerita of 
Sociology, Dartmouth 

( ollt'ge 

|ohn W. de Gruchy 

Professor of Religious 
Studies, University of 
Cape Town, S. Africa 

Stanley Hauerwas 

Professor of Theological 
Ethics, Duke University 
Divinity School 

Arthur F. Holmes 

Professor of Philosophy, 
Wheaton College 

Robert Kreider 

Vice-President, Bethel 

Warren Bryan Martin 

Senior Fellow, Carnegie 
Foundation for the 
Advancement of Teaching 

Talbert O. Shaw 

Dean of Arts and 
Sciences, Morgan State 

|ohn Howard Yoder 

Professor of Theology, 
Notre Dame University 

For more information: 
Faith and Learning Conference, Bethel College, North Newton, 
Kansas 671 17; Phone: (316) 283-2500 


MARCH 11, 1986 

spEAkiNq OUT 

MCCer in El Salvador calls for bridging gap 

San Salvador, El Salvador (MCO- 
"Mennonite Central Committee needs 
to state more clearly that its work, 
whether relief, development, justice 
advocacy or presence is political," says 
Ron Flickinger, recently returned 
worker from El Salvador. 

"Our motivation is not primarily 
political. It is Christian. Rather than 
being cautioned about being too politi- 
cal, we need to be challenged to adhere 
closely to the teaching and example of 
Jesus and the early church," he 

"Our North American theology does 
not prepare us for moving into oppres- 
sive situations in various stages of 
revolution. North American Christians 
do not have much idea of the costs of 
being faithful. We often emphasize 

"MCC's vision should provide a basis 
for challenging its volunteers to be 
more faithful and take more risks 
rather than often raising the questions 
of security. We should be and need to 
be more pushed and challenged rather 
than simply tolerated when we feel 
God leading us to identify more closely 
with the suffering church. Although 
we should be questioned about our 
relationships with revolutionary move- 
ments, we should also be questioned 
about the compromises we make to 
work under oppressive governments. 
The church as a whole has not devel- 
oped an adequate theology for making 
decisions about risk-taking and wit- 
ness to the world." 

Flickinger notes that as workers 
spend time in Central America they 
grow to realize that "we cannot be so 
naive as to come into these polarized 
situations and attempt to follow our 
understanding of the gospel without 
suffering. Christ sent his disciples out 
assuring them that they would be tor- 
tured and killed." 

He continues, "Where in the Bible 
do we get the idea that we can avoid 
persecution if we are faithful? Should 
MCC even commit itself to being 
present in a situation if it is not will- 
ing to accept the same fate as the 
Christians with whom we want to be 
present? We cannot be a sign of God's 
hope in El Salvador under the present 
government if we are not willing to 
accept the consequences of being 
present with those who are suffering 
the most." 

"It is natural that some tension ex- 
ists between MCC, the churches and 
the MCC volunteers. The church has 
not prepared the volunteers for the 
poverty, injustice, suffering and vio- 
lence they will encounter. New faith 
questions are raised. Their perceptions 
of the situation will constantly change. 
But the church should be confident 
enough of its preparation and MCC of 
its vision that adequate trust would 
exist to move together with the volun- 
teers as their responses to their situa- 
tions change." 

Flickinger says that there is a gap 
not only between MCC workers in El 
Salvador and North American Chris- 
tians but between North American 
and Salvadoran Christians. 

"We can't make life in El Salvador 
fit into our North American frame- 
work. The Salvadoran Christian proba- 
bly has a more biblical understanding 
of hope than the average North Ameri- 
can Christian," he observes. 

Flickinger says the signs of hope in 
El Salvador exist in small ways and 
are "signs of God's kingdom in the 
midst of a situation of evil and injus- 
tice. . . . The hope is that people are 
trying to be faithful in spite of the 

Many Salvadoran Christians believe 
that "God reserves his greatest care 
for the ones who are hurting the most" 
and that "God cares about the injus- 
tice and suffering in this world and 
wants his followers to do something 
about it," Flickinger says. Although 
most evangelical Salvadorans may not 
agree with this view of God," we [MCC 
workers] in El Salvador have made a 
conscious choice to identify with this 
new understanding," he continues. 

How can the widening gap between 
understandings about hope, God's 
option for the poor and about being 
political be bridged between Central 
American and North American Chris- 
tians? "The tension is becoming 
greater, not less. We are convinced 
that the gap must be bridged if we are 
to continue to be responsible to both 
our churches in North America and 
the churches we relate to in El Salva- 
dor. The track we are on in El Salva- 
dor is carrying us in a more 'radical' 
direction. The majority of our churches 
in North America are on a track with 
as few bumps and curves as they can 

"Can the two tracks ever be brought 
together through quiet diplomacy or 
one step at a time?" Flickinger asks. 
"Jesus did not offer the rich young 
ruler one small step on the way to 
being his follower. Perhaps it is time 
for some more direct language that 
will surely anger many, but couldn't 
this be handled in a way that would 
lead to reconciliation?" 

He concludes the letter, "Many of us 
during our time as volunteers experi- 
ence times of disillusionment, anger 
and grief as we come face to face with 
the injustice and oppression and learn 
how much our wealth is connected to 
the poverty of others. Why should 
North American Christians be ex- 
pected to move toward greater faithful- 
ness without experiencing something 

cipd bv s,ep: 

• anew 15-minute slide set about two 
Mennonite Central Committee U S Urban 
Ministries Office service and employment 
programs for minority youth. Summer 
Service and IMPACT 

• now available for free loan from all MCC 

• Spanish version also available from all 
U S offices 

• Contact Resource Library . 21 South 1 2th 
Street. Box M. Akron PA 1 7501 
(717)859-1 151 

or MCC Canada. 201-1 483 Pembina 
Hwy Winnipeg. MB R3T 2C8 


Vacation Bible School Curricula 

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Order through your local Christian 
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Allegiance to Jesus 

Herald Press 

Dept. MEN 

Scottdale.PA 15683-1999 
Kitchener, ON N2G4M5 

May need to die for peace 

I read in your Jan. 14 issue the dream, 
the hope, the proposal of Ron Sider 
concerning Christian Peacemaking 
Teams. I think it is absolutely spectac- 
ular, timely and full of power. Have no 
fear, it will happen. 

Two years ago we finished a long 
7,000-mile pilgrimage on foot through 

II countries, from the Trident nuclear 
submarine base near Seattle to the 
birthplace of the Prince of Peace. It 
was an explicit linking of peace and 
Christian evangelizing. All 14 of us 
who began the journey were still to- 
gether as we walked into Bethlehem. 
The Spirit was with us. 

As we spoke continuously to groups I 
found myself saying, "We people of the 
Spirit must go to peace with the same 
sense of urgency and determination 
that nations call upon when they send 
our youth to war." I found myself 
growing in the conviction that the 
churches themselves will, in the eyes 
of God, be judged on this issue of peace 
and our willingness to courageously 
address it. 

Thank God for the Mennonites and 
the Brethren. We of the Catholic 
Church need your example. And let all 
of us know that implicit in our bap- 
tism is not merely a call to peacemak- 
ing but a call to be willing to suffer 
martyrdom, to be killed but not to kill. 
And as nations assume that some of 
their soldiers— the cream of our 
youth— will be killed in making war, 
let us challenge the youth with the 
knowledge that this is also the call of 
peacemaking. I will keep your project 
in my prayers. Jack Morris, 508 Coal 
Creek Road, Chehalis, WA 98532 

Jan. 31 

Want to know Paraguay stories 

I enjoyed your "Editor's Journal Jot- 
tings" in recent issues. I'm interested 
in knowing and learning more in re- 
gard to the Mennonite colonies in Par- 
aguay. Would you write and print a 
complete description of the colonies, 
their locations, churches, populations, 
when established and by whom? Also 
a map would be helpful. John E. 
Wiebe, 308 Central, Newton, KS 67114 

Feb. 4 

Editor's note: John, I visited with his- 
torian Martin Friesen in Loma Plata 
during my time in Paraguay. He has 
written a couple of books on this sub- 

114 MARCH 11, 1986 

ject, and they also have beautiful, col- 
ored maps. If you are interested in the 
"whole thing, " please write to Martin 
W. Friesen, cdc Colonie Menno—Loma 
Plata, Asuncion, Paraguay. 

On the Bible and sexuality 

Our conference study guide on Human 
Sexuality in the Christian Life has a 
major weakness. It accommodates it- 
self to our permissive society. 

If the writers had studied The Laws 
of Plato, they might have gained some 
insight into the function of law and 
especially as it relates to this problem 
(see Book 1, pp. 15f; Book VIII, pp. 
226ff; Book IX, pp. 270f; also the sym- 
posium where Socrates in word and 
deed overcomes the temptation to 
homosexual behavior). 

Socrates suggests that males coming 
together with males and females with 
females is against nature. The daring 
of those who first did it seems to have 
arisen from a lack of self-restraint 
with regard to pleasure. The Cretans 
were accused of being the originators 
of the myth of Ganymede. Since their 
laws were believed to have come from 
Zeus, they added this myth about Zeus 
so that they could continue to reap the 
enjoyment of this pleasure as they 
followed Zeus therein. 

Our modern authors are attempting 
to do much the same thing today as 
they try to prove God's sanction for 

Plato suggests that powerful erotic 
drives are hard to manage, but he 
shows how unwritten laws against 
incest can be effective in forbidding 
such illicit love, as can Olympian 
training and love for victory sustain 
discipline. In addition Plato would also 
use strong sacred sanctions to make 
the law firm. Our guidelines would use 
religious sanctions in an opposite man- 
ner to make homosexuality acceptable. 

Nor is Plato critical of shunning as 
are the guidelines (p. 118), for he 
would bar such persons from all hon- 
ors in the city on grounds that they 
are strangers. And if someone should 
use violence for sexual purposes 
against a free woman or a boy, he or 
she may be killed with impunity by 
the violently outraged party. Pleasure 
should never be put before what is 
more just and better. 

I find Plato a much better teacher on 
this subject than modern "experts." 
No wonder Whitehead said that any- 
thing that was written since his day 

was only adding footnotes to what he 
had already said. We will also find 
that the biblical text is much clearer if 
we don't force our human interpreta- 
tions on it. David Janzen, Box 594, 
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON LOS 1J0 

Feb. 7 

Farm not likely to be saved 

Someone sent me a copy of Shantilal P. 
Bhagat's book The Family Farm, Can 
It Be Saved? The answer is, "Yes, it 
can be, but it likely will not be." 

There are a number of reasons. High 
on the list is the tragic fact that Wash- 
ington doesn't really understand the 
importance of the family farm to a 
prosperous economy. Therefore it isn't 
on the priority list. Nonetheless, when 
family farms are in trouble, more trou- 
ble surfaces with bank failures, imple- 
ment and hardware businesses folding, 
and small towns slowly drying up. 

The new farm program is probably 
as good as can be expected. But it isn't 
a good answer. Moratoriums on foreclo- 
sures only prolong the agony. 

At the heart of our problem has been 
moral and fiscal irresponsibility. We 
have a president who poses as a con- 
servative. However, he has put our 
nation into the deepest debt in our 
history. His budget deficit and world 
trade imbalance threaten to engulf us. 
The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act may 
be the last fiasco. To add insult to 
injury, he wants an already insane 
military budget increased. 

I predicted as much years ago. Many 
of our farmers in trouble nonetheless 
voted for him. 

The various conferences that have 
been held are fine, but the solution 
does not lie there. The problem goes 
deeper than Washington. All of us are 
part of a materialistic, secular, human- 

istic society. Unless we can somehow 
recover a sense of moral sanity and 
responsibility— and a genuine spiritual 
renewal— we will sink deeper. 

We have a president who has been 
asking for more than "the portion of 
goods that falleth to us." William H. 
Stauffer, Route 1, Stone Creek, OH 
43840 Feb. 13 

Ice cream and sexuality 

In response to the person who related 
sexual identity to preferences in ice 
cream flavors (Jan. 28 issue), I find 
this not a helpful image. 

Ice cream flavors are for the most 
part human creations, much like the 
"scientific" interpretive frameworks 
humans use to read their own biases 
back into the Bible. 

I would suggest instead looking at 
the variety of shapes and colors in 
wild flowers, with some kinds more 
plentiful than others, or at the pres- 
ence of both evergreen and deciduous 
trees. These images are part of the 
world given to us by God. (Anyone for 
a "down with leaf-droppers" cam- 

Those of us who grow up to find our- 
selves gay or lesbian know that this 
identity is a part of God's purpose for 
our lives, and we have clues as to why. 
As in the Good Samaritan story, we 
are present in the church and world to 
allow the majority community to be 
tested in neighborly love, to be tested 
in responding to the different. (Who 
will be a neighbor?) Jesus' reaction to 
the Pharisees (Matthew 23:27, etc.) 
shows his response to people who 
would try to force God's world into 
neat little "scientific" boxes. Frank R. 
Trnka, 2520 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis, 
MN 55406 

Feb. 13 


God's People in the Southwest: Past and Present 
9 days— $389 

April 23-May 1— The Commission on Home Ministries of the General Conference Mennonite 
Church is sponsoring a tour of the scenic Southwest, including a visit to the Navajo and Hopi 
Mennonite communities. Arrangements have been made with Prudent Tours for transportation on 
modern motorcoach with restroom and air conditioning. Tour includes housing in good motels, 
admissions to scenic attractions, baggage handling, and the services of tour guide Pearl Janzen. 

For more information contact: 

Commission on Home Ministries 
Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 
Phone (316) 283-5100. 



Our churches and the farm crisis 

J. W infield Fretz 

The current crisis in agriculture is a 
major economic debacle. It is at the 
same time also a genuinely moral and 
spiritual problem. Those farm families 
presently threatened or who have lost 
their farms are suffering deep emo- 
tional crises as well as financial losses. 

I was raised on a beautiful Pennsyl- 
vania family farm that my parents lost 
more than 60 years ago in the post- 
World War I depression. I have had a 
warm affection ever since for those 
who go through the emotionally 
wrenching experience of losing what is 
near and dear to them. 

Severe economic reverses, whether 
the result of longtime unemployment 
or a business or farm failure, are al- 
most always spiritually crushing. 
Those adversely affected are frus- 
trated, they entertain a deep sense of 
personal and family failure, and with 
these negative feelings a loss of self- 
confidence and self-respect. There are 
losses of not knowing where to turn or 
to whom to go for relief or what op- 
tions are open to them. There are fears 
of what neighbors, friends and ac- 
quaintances will think of them. 

I see the farm crisis as a kind of 
triple tragedy. First is the keen disap- 
pointment of the victims directly 
affected by events. Second are individ- 
uals, neighbors, friends and co-workers 
who, like myself, stand sympatheti- 
cally by but do nothing to relieve even 
a single farm family's distress. Third 
is the sad fact that local congregations, 
conferences or interchurch agencies 
are unprepared to address the problem 
or bring even emergency relief to the 
distressed families. 

It is embarrassing to think that 
farmers have always been generous 
contributors when there have been 
calls for beef, wheat and fruit to feed 
the hungry abroad. Now that there is 
a crisis among many of those same 
generous contributors, there is no one 
to rescue them. Neighbors and friends 
who would normally have helped re- 
build their houses and barns if they 
had been destroyed by tornado, fire or 
flood now stand helplessly by. Even the 
many mutual aid societies, whose rea- 
son for existence is to help one another, 
throw up their hands and say, "We 
can't help because we're not organized 
for this purpose." The fact is that 

we're organized to respond to catastro- 
phes due to natural causes but not 
catastrophes resulting from human 

It is unfortunate that the church in 
general is so poorly prepared to meet 
and minister to the many farm fami- 
lies in this agricultural crisis. How- 
ever, there is no excuse for individual 
congregations, conferences and MCC 
not to get busy and do things that can 
logically be done. Is there any reason 
why local congregations should not 
create small (possibly three-member) 
mutual assistance committees to act in 
a congregation's behalf in some of the 
following ways: (1) Serve as an inquir- 
ing and listening group to those in 
financial distress. Clearly and forth- 
rightly stating one's problems to a 
small group of trusted friends in confi- 
dence often results in better under- 
standing of one's situation. 

2. Provide a new perspective on the 
problem when considered from others' 
experience and viewpoint. (3) Make it 
feasible to explore alternative lines of 
action. (4) Make possible negotiation 
with creditors in a way individuals in 
debt could not. (5) Open the way to 
raise necessary temporary funds from 
within the church to help those in 
distress to reorganize their programs 
and continue to function on a modified 

Is there any good reason we should 
not establish a permanent organiza- 
tion for the express purpose of dealing 
with financial crises of church mem- 
bers? Are personal emotional crises 
and spiritual depressions not as wor- 
thy of helpful counsel as are stresses 
brought on by interpersonal conflicts 
or moral transgressions? 

Economics and religion are closely 
related. Church members in financial 
crisis, for whatever reason, tend to be 
depressed and need help. They are not 
likely to be radiant Christians under 
such circumstances. Severely discour- 
aged people need compassionate and 
skillful assistance. They need interces- 
sory prayer and sympathetic under- 
standing, but they also need to be told 
the truth in love about the need to 
practice financial self-discipline and 
resistance to the temptation of over- 
spending. Many could also be taught 
the virtue of seeking and accepting 

The "Amen Farm" at Brooklin, Maine, has 

been a popular spot over the years. Today its 
name may carry a double message. 

spiritual counsel from respected fellow- 

I do not view distressed farm fami- 
lies as reckless spenders or careless 
managers. I consider them victims of a 
fickle economic system. They are in 
the same situation as business people 
who fail when a major industry ceases 
operation or a line of merchandise is 
no longer demanded. 

The church is primarily a helping 
agency. Its strength is in its caring, 
sharing, supporting and even suffering 
for one another. What else do vows 
taken at the time of baptism about 
remaining loyal to Christ and his 
church mean? There must be ways 
that God will show us to come to the 
aid of brothers and sisters in distress. 
None of us can long lift our heads if 
we only stand idly by or pass on the 
other side or, worse yet, fail to hear 
the cry for help. 

J. Win field Fretz, Box 126, North New- 
ton, KS 67117, is a retired educator, 
sociologist, economist and churchman 
of many in volvements. 


MARCH 11, 1986 


Liberation theology: Can we take 
the positive without the negative? 

Brian Epp 

Liberation theology advocates that 
churches must be much more aggres- 
sive in being change agents for justice. 
Any theology has its strengths and its 
weaknesses, and there are differences 
of opinion among liberation theolo- 
gians. We must accept the insights, 
obvious contributions and positive 
affirmations of the gospel. 

We must also deal with theological 
weaknesses. Tony Campolo says in A 
Reasonable Faith that liberation theol- 
ogy fails in its hermeneutics. The Holy 
Spirit is not only transcultural but 
transclass. To confine the interpreta- 
tion of Scripture under the direction of 
the Holy Spirit to any one social class 
is as erroneous as confining the inter- 
pretation of Scripture to any ethnic 
group. God transcends all classes. Un- 
fortunately, liberation theologians 
limit the concept of oppression to the 
economic and political realm. But Je- 
sus has come to deliver us from all 
forms of oppression. 

Liberation theology also minimizes 
the positive place of suffering. Moses 
liberated Israel from Egypt, but the 
oppressed Israelite people still had 40 
years of unjust torture and enslave- 
ment ahead of them. Oppression and 
tyranny— like sickness and suffering- 
may be part of God's disciplinary plan 
for his people. Luis Palau, a Latin 
American evangelist, spoke about the 
heart of a nation being corrupt. He 
said, "The world is experiencing a 
moral decline— low ethical standards 
and a high divorce rate. With the lei- 
sure structure of society, the family is 
being broken apart. ... 72 percent of 
Latin America is illegitimate. That is 
why they don't enjoy a successful 
standard of living. There is a direct 
relationship between moral values and 
behavior and how a country goes, pros- 
perity included. 'Your sins will find 
you out.' These actions set in motion 
the destruction of a nation. Men in 
Latin America between 35 and 40 
years of age have usually had two or 
three wives and children by each one" 
(on a James Dobson radio broadcast). 

That kind of looseness says there is 
no biblical value and no loyalty. It 
affects your attitude toward the family. 

Who are you going to be loyal to? 
What family? What father? What 
mother? "We will live for ourselves" is 
also typical of stepchildren in the 
United States. 

Suffering is a consequence of how we 
live. There is a selfishness that leads 
to destruction. A low view of family is 
a low view of God. This does not lessen 
the wickedness of social injustice— nor 
does it support it. It recognizes that 
until Christ's return the tares and the 

. . until Christ's return the tares 
and the wheat may grow up to- 
gether and salvation must be mea- 
sured in terms more enduring and 
wholistic than merely socioeco- 
nomic liberation. " 

wheat may grow up together and sal- 
vation must be measured in terms 
more enduring and wholistic than 
merely socioeconomic liberation. 

I look at William Wilberforce as a 
great social reformer (cf. Real Chris- 
tianity). Wilberforce, barely over five 
feet tall, born in Hull, England, in 
1759, struggled 40 years against slav- 
ery. He became a Member of Parlia- 
ment at age 21. Sparked by a vacation 
and a debate with his old schoolmas- 
ter, Isaac Milner, he started to read the 
Bible daily. The seeds of change were 
planted. His concern for change began 
to show for scarcely noticed corruption 
of a year before. At that point Wilber- 
force sought out the counsel of John 
Newton, author of "Amazing Grace." 
Newton, once a slave trader and now a 
pastor, told him that the Lord raised 
him up to the good of the church and 
to the good of the nation. 

Wilberforce in 1787 had this 
thought: "Had God seen fit to save 
him only for the eternal rescue of his 
own soul, or also to bring his light to 
the world around him?" True Chris- 
tianity must save and serve. His objec- 
tives: "Almighty God has set before 
me the abolition of the slave trade and 
the reformation of manners." 

Wilberforce presented a clear mes- 

sage of salvation and a call to Chris- 
tians to holy living, as opposed to the 
lifeless religion commonly practiced. 
"All men must be regenerated by the 
grace of God before they are fit to be 
inhabitants of heaven, before they are 
possessed of that holiness without 
which no man shall see the Lord." 

Wilberforce understood the crucial 
interdependence of social reforms and 
spiritual movement. To attack social 
injustice while the heart of a nation 
remains corrupt is futile; to seek to 
reform the heart of a nation while 
injustice is tolerated ignores the lord- 
ship of Christ. On July 26, 1833, the 
bill for the abolition of slavery passed. 
Little more than a week later Wilber- 
force died. 

Arnold Snyder writes in Relevance of 
Anabaptist Non-Violence for Nicaragua 
Today, "If we can take the crucial step 
of recognizing that the doing of justice 
in the wider world is not something 
God meant us to leave entirely in the 
hands of his divine providence, if we 
can see that God left a good part of the 
task in our human hands, we will find 
that we have been moved out of the 
possibility of complacency and passiv- 
ity. Because if God calls on us to do 
justice in the wider world, and if we 
respond to his call and command, the 
only question that can remain will be 
the when and the how of doing justice. 
Has God also revealed the means and 
the methods of justice? The Anabaptist 
tradition maintains that the answer is 
yes, and the means and the method is 
revealed by the life of Jesus Christ, 
which is also the point of focus for 
Nicaraguan liberation theology." 

As James has said, the words of Je- 
sus can only be lived in the words and 
deeds of the believer— through each of 
us in the offices, homes, jobsites, fields 
and schools. May God give us wisdom 
in taking the positive and leaving the 

Brian Epp, youth pastor of Bethesda 
Mennonite Church, Henderson, NE 
68371, says "thanks" for the previous 
dialogue on liberation theology. He is 
interested now in taking it a step fur- 
ther. Your responses are welcome. 


More than a matter of dirt 


Artist John Hapgood has prepared this portrait of a farm family facing an uncertain 
future. Art Meyer says that this uncertainty has a bearing upon good use of God's earth. 

Art Meyer 

Why save the family farm? There are 
many good reasons, but among the 
most important is that the family farm 
is best able to combat soil erosion and 
environmental degradation. 

Those who live on family farms have 
traditionally placed high value on the 
family and the land. Other traditional 
values include good work habits, fam- 
ily unity, simplicity, honesty and self- 

But family farms are being lost in 
dramatic numbers today. And topsoil is 
being lost just as dramatically. The 
Conservation Foundation reported last 
year that for every pound of food pro- 
duced in the United States, 22 pounds 
of soil erodes. The United States De- 
partment of Agriculture (USDA) states 
that "loss of soil through erosion ex- 
ceeds tolerable levels on 44 percent of 
U.S. cropland" and that soil erosion 
has reached epidemic proportions. 

A Minnesota-based land ethics 
group, the Land Stewardship Project 
(LSP), reported one dramatic example 
of the relationship between the loss of 
the family farm and environmental 
degradation. In 1958 Ed Hauck of 
Wabasha County, Minn., bought a 
dairy farm. He put in terraces, hay 
strips, waterways and contours. By 
1984 he had developed his farm into 
an award-winning conservation show- 
place. Soil erosion had been cut to less 
than three tons per acre per year, ac- 
cording to the Wabasha County Soil 
Conservation Service. 

But in January 1985 Hauck was a 
victim of foreclosure. An insurance 
company took over the farm and 
rented it out to a cash grain farmer 
who plowed it up fence row to fence 
row, removing all terraces, waterways, 
strips and contours. Twenty-seven 
years of conservation work went down 
the drain. The Soil Conservation Ser- 
vice predicts an annual soil loss of 35 
to 40 tons per acre per year, or a ten- 
fold increase. 

LSP, whose motto is, "Let's stop 
treating our soil like dirt," claims that 
the Hauck farm tragedy is not an iso- 
lated case. They point to similar cases 
in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Wis- 
consin. More and more farmlands are 
being taken over by groups more inter- 
ested in profit than in protection of 
soil and the environment. 

In many cases family farm loss by 
foreclosure correlates with soil loss by 
erosion. Some other facts about family 
farm loss include: (1) In 1929, 30 per- 
cent of the U.S. population resided on 
family farms; today that figure is 2.4 
percent. (2) Ownership of farmland has 
become highly concentrated. One per- 
cent of farmland owners control over 
30 percent of total acreage. (3) Thirty- 
five percent of all U.S. land is owned 
by non-farmers, 40 percent is rented, 
10 percent is held by corporations. 

Some U.S. farmland is held by insur- 
ance companies, and that amount is 

increasing as family farmers go bank- 
rupt. The LSP claims that one insur- 
ance company owns 222,000 acres of 
farm and timberland in the United 
States. This is an area equal to one- 
third the size of Rhode Island. 

As we seek ways to protect and pre- 
serve the soil, our Christian faith 
should motivate us to do all in our 
power to prevent further loss of family 
farms in our country and around the 

Art Meyer formerly worked in the MCC 
U.S. Development Education Office. 


MARCH 11, 1986 


Ragged edges 

Old and faded, the quilt, draped over a chest in an antique 
shop, drew me. The faded reds and blues, randomly 
patched, created a harmony of color and design. I contem- 
plated buying it. It might look nice hanging on my bed- 
room wall. At closer inspection I noticed the threads hang- 
ing from the edging. Some of the triangular patches were 
torn and frayed. I didn't want to hang something in need of 
repair. I left the shop. 

I couldn't forget the quilt. It gave me a feeling of comfort 
and peace. I could see its beauty in spite of its flaws. 

I thought of myself. Many intricate parts pieced together 
to make me. God had created me. He had a perfect pattern, 
a perfect plan for my life, but some of the pieces of me had 
become torn and frayed. I was imperfect. I wanted to hide 
these pieces. No one should see them. They pronounced my 

I remembered the unfinished quilt carefully tucked away 
in my closet, the result of a class I'd taken several years 
ago. So many valid excuses for not finishing it, yet incom- 
plete because I feared its imperfection. 

Yes, I must have the old frayed quilt. I need to hang it on 
my wall to remind me that it's OK to be frayed and torn. 
It's OK to let the rough edges of imperfection show. It's 
this acceptance that frees me to finish the quilt in my 
closet. It's the acceptance of my whole self in God's forgiv- 
ing presence that frees me to live. 

Janice Friesen 

Hospital of healing 

Hospitals have always terrified me as places besieged by 
illness. People there were not so much on the road to recov- 
ery, I supposed, as lingering to die. 

Imagine my dread, then, as I checked into the hospital 
last summer for exploratory abdominal surgery. While I 
dutifully answered the receptionist's questions about my 
age, health plan, etc., my imagination was conjuring 
means of escape. I had to force myself to breathe normally. 

After the surgery, I became determined to get well. All 
my concentration focused on regaining my health. My 
mind, body and emotions concerted all their energies to- 
ward this one goal. 

Whatever assistance I needed, whatever initiative I had 
to take, I didn't hesitate. All that cautiousness with which 
I reassured myself that I was a "nice," controlled adult 
became a luxury I just couldn't afford. I relinquished shy- 
ness and asked the nurse who brought me a bedpan how to 
use it. I even made the effort to request a second time 
some shampoo so I could wash my hair. 

Such a gathering of myself into a commitment to healing 
was a spiritual experience. Ill as I was, I felt a wholeness, 
a "shalom." Shalom is the Hebrew word meaning peace, 
describing a life of harmony and fruitfulness. It is a life of 
creative power, a life that awakens us to God and attunes 
us to God's Spirit. 

Our troubled world may be imagined as a hospital, its 
people diseased and waiting to die. But I've known a hospi- 
tal to be a field ripe with a harvest of grace. 

Amy Adelstein 


In 1970, Earl Butz, a former U.S. secretary of agriculture, was 
lecturing across the nation on "The Modernization of American 
Agriculture." He called for bigger farms, more machinery and less 
people on the land. 

Today it seems a way of life— rural family farming— is dying. 
With this death is much agony. There is also the haunting feeling 
that somehow a strong link exists between land and people's 
welfare. Maybe Butz was wrong. Perhaps we are in danger of 
losing some of the essential and enduring qualities of human 

The issue looks differently, when viewed psychologically and 
spiritually, than when it is viewed only statistically. 

Farm crises are threads in a fabric 97 

A reporter looks at the U.S. and Canadian farm crisis 100 

How deserted lies the city 103 

We believe in baptism 104 

News 106 

Conference on the Philippines 106 

Editor resigns 108 

CMinBC conference report 109 

MCC worker in El Salvador calls for bridging gap 113 

Letters 114 

Our churches and the farm crisis 116 

Liberation theology: Can we take the positive without 

the negative? 117 

More than a matter of dirt 118 

Ragged edges 119 

Hospital of healing 119 

God's account ledger 120 


LaVonne Piatt, Route 2, Box 209, Newton, KS 67114, wrote her 
article for Meetinghouse, the inter-Mennonite editors organization. 

Jim Romahn, a reporter for the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 
Kitchener, Ont., was asked by Meetinghouse to do this assignment 
for the Mennonite periodicals. 

Our meditations are by Janice Friesen, Route 1 , Box 7, Hender- 
son, NE 68371 , and by Amy Adelstein, 224 Divisadero, San Fran- 
cisco, CA 94117. 


Cover, 98, 99, 1 01 , 1 03, 1 1 3, 1 1 6, 1 1 8, RNS; 1 04, Alfred Siemens, 
624 Salsbury Drive, Vancouver, BC V5L 3Z9; 106, 107, Gordon 
Houser; 109, Muriel T. Stackley; 110, MWC; 111, G. Bruce Hilde- 
brand (MCC). 

The mennoMte 

Editor: Bernie Wiebe 
600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4 / (204) 888-6781 

Assistant editor: Gordon Houser 

722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 / (316) 283-5100 

Editorial assistant: Sharon Sommer 
Art director: John Hiebert 
The Mennonite is a member of the Associated Church Press, 
Evangelical Press Association and Meetinghouse (a Mennonite 
and Brethren in Christ editors' group). It is an associate member of 
the Canadian Church Press. 

Business manager: Dietrich Rempel. Circulation secretary: Marilyn Kauf- 
man. Special editions editors: Central District, Evelyn Krehbiel, 229 Brook- 
wood, Bluffton, OH 45817; Pacific District, Carol Peterson, Box 338, Upland. 
CA 91785; Western District, Debbie Huxman, Box 306, North Newton, KS 
67117; Window to Mission, Lois Deckert, 122 W. Dayton Yellow Springs 
Road, Apt. #4, Fairborn, OH 45324; and Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, Richard A. Kauffman, 3003 Benham Ave. Elkhart, IN 46517. 




God's account ledger 

Many Christians are caught up in a narcotic, self- 
fulfillment gospel that offers justification for selfish 
behavior. Only severe crises seem able to shake peo- 
ple out of this sickness. 

The farm crisis is one more illustration of this. Be- 
fore high costs, interest rates and the low commodity 
prices lowered the boom on farmers, many of them— 
like many others— built up individualistic empires. 
Except for readily helping out fellow farmers sud- 
denly taken ill, too many built up storage sheds, 
herds/flocks, equipment and acreage as if these were 
going out of style. 

Farmers were never more guilty than the rest. 
Among those losing their farms are also many who 
tried to be faithful stewards of the earth (see feature 
articles for some of the problems). 

Many people today don't seem to feel a sense of 
accountability. Churches join denominations but give 
their support grudgingly. People join churches but act 
as if they only want a ticket to the bleachers (How 
many choose the front seats in your church? How 
many volunteer to sit so far back at the ballgames?) 

People operate on their own— a Lone Ranger kind of 
Christianity. Join the Mennonite church but forget 
Mennonite schools. Become part of a Mennonite con- 
ference but don't give to its support. If something 
displeases you, give your tithes to some seemingly 
eloquent and faultless TV preacher and program. 

This is not biblical and not Christian. Certainly it's 
not Anabaptist or Mennonite. 

The Bible repeatedly calls Christians to be an in- 
terdependent body (1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 5, 
Hebrews 10, Romans 12), accountable to God and to 
one another. We are to exercise corporate faithfulness 
to the Holy Spirit. 

Community-centeredness should come naturally to 
Mennonites. Anabaptism started out as a community 
of committed believers, faithful to God and to one 
another unto death. 

Our faith-centered community life gave way to be- 
coming communities of relatives. That has become a 
plague among us. Newcomers find it difficult to 
break our sociological barriers. 

But even more devastating is that we have grown 
into communities of independent individualists. Soci- 

ologically we still connect. Inwardly— psychologically 
and spiritually— we exercise private lives. We may 
live next door to people we know well and relate to 
socially, but on Sunday we're off in private directions. 
Each ignores the other. Even those who come to wor- 
ship and study with us are not permitted inside our 
emotional and spiritual fences. 

When crises come, as they will to most of us, we 
soon see the error of this Lone Ranger or Rambo 
Christianity. We need each other desperately. In bibli- 
cal essence the church is a community of faith, living 
and learning together. This means giving account for 
and to one another. We are intertwined and find our 
essence only as we respect the total network of our 
connectedness. This includes the strangers who visit 
our churches and those who stay away. We need them 
and they need us. 

I sense much pain in many GC congregations. It is 
like the pain in any kinship group, e.g. a broken fam- 
ily. We know one another but can't connect in help- 
ing and healing ways. 

Such pain grows worse as long as we play the 
blame game. Independent individualistic faith 
blames anything that looks "social." 

Our common mission in Christ begins with Christ 
in our lives and Christ in the lives of all other peo- 
ple. In him we are one— all over the world. We dare 
not begin with our pet and private prejudices. 

Here we are all servants— unworthy at best— of God 
and his created world. Wholistic Christianity is a 
medicine needed desperately to heal today's world. 

In God's account ledger, what are the debits we 
owe? Do the credits offset those debits? 

No, we can never earn our salvation. But a genuine 
salvation works toward balancing all the debts we 
owe . . . through Jesus Christ. God's Word says, "On 
the day of judgment men will render account for 
every careless word" (Matthew 12:36). "So each of us 
shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12). 

Abraham believed God and "it was accounted to 
him for righteousness" (Galatians 3:6, KJV). 

In God's account ledger we must stand together by 
faith— for the world he loves and wants to save in 
Jesus Christ. The only alternative is to fail and fall- 
alone and lonely. Bernie Wiebe 


101:06 MARCH 25, 1986 


His hands would never be clean, 
anymore than his 
conscience would. . . 
But we shed no tears for Pilate, 
it's ourselves we worry about." 

Pontius Pilate and us 

Consider Pontius Pilate. 

What we know of him isn't much. 
From Josephus, Jewish historian of the 
first century A.D., we learn that he 
served as Roman procurator of Judea 
during the years 26(?) - 36(?). His 10 
years in office would indicate he did a 
reasonably good job; most of his prede- 
cessors and successors didn't last that 

Josephus says that on one occasion 
Pilate used military force to put down 
a Jewish protest. It was this retalia- 
tion that stirred up enough furor to 
have him recalled to Rome. 

It was not for these details that we 
remember Pilate. Our interest focuses 
on one day, a day that stands in the 
middle of time itself. We see a beaten, 
solitary figure standing before Pilate, 
and we wonder, What is going through 
Pilate's mind? Does he have any idea 
of who this Galilean rabbi is? Why did 
he make an attempt to set Jesus free? 
Was it because he was frightened by 
his wife's dream? Or was Pilate simply 
a pawn of fate? 

We cannot know the answers to these 
questions, but each generation of 
Christians asks them. And there is a 
reason the questions keep getting 
asked, a reason rooted in the human- 
ity we share with Pilate and the 
doubts we have about our decisions 
and the dreams that haunt our sleep. 
We wonder not because we care that 
much about Pilate but because we care 
about ourselves, and we wonder 

whether, at the last, we are not also a 
pawn of fate— of life itself. 

There was no answer for Pilate ei- 
ther, if indeed he asked himself that 
question when Jesus stood in front of 
him with a ribbon or two of blood 
trickling down his bruised cheeks. But 
maybe Pilate didn't ask it then be- 
cause he didn't know this Jew from 
Moses, and anyway, it was part of the 
unpleasantness of his job to head off 
trouble at the pass. 

What Pilate can't figure out is why 
these Jews don't just settle down and 
let the Romans run the show for a 
while. Why do they insist on taking 
their religion so seriously? He looks at 
the silent prisoner who stands with his 
hands tied in front of him. 

"Are you the king of the Jews?" 
Pilate says with an ill-concealed sneer. 
Silence. Pilate's stomach tightens and 
he notices, to his great disgust, that 

his voice sounds a little too shrill 
when he asks his next question. 
"Don't you hear what these . . . people 
. . . (he gestures with a contemptuous 
wave of his hand) are accusing you 
of?" The wretched figure in front of 
him sways on his feet ever so slightly 
but says not a word. 

And now Pilate sees the whole thing, 
sees the ravenous look on the face of 
the accusers. He knows they want this 
up-country rabbi lynched, for heaven 
knows what reason, and that they 
won't take no for an answer. He sees 
too that their charges against him are 
a trumped-up hand and, what's more, 
they're holding all the aces. There's no 
one to speak on his behalf, and he 
won't say a word to defend himself. 

For all his political moxie, Pilate is 
blessed, or cursed, with two traits that 
keep him from sleeping nights. One is 
a conscience. He is a Roman; he be- 
lieves in law and justice. What's right 
is right. And what's wrong is dragging 
some poor soul in here who's had the 
bad judgment to make enemies of men 
who play for keeps. Pilate curses his 
Roman conscience; how much easier to 
do his job without it! And had he been 
aware of it, he might also have cursed 
the other trait that gets him into trou- 
ble—his obstinacy. He doesn't like to 
be pushed around, especially by these 
fanatical Jews. 

Maybe there is a way out. He'll re- 
lease the prisoner in keeping with a 
custom invented by a predecessor who 

Kenneth L. Gibble 

had a good eye for public relations. 
But it doesn't work; the growing mob 
insists on their option. Release the 
murderous radical Barabbas instead of 
Jesus. And now Pilate feels the perspi- 
ration gathering on his upper lip. 
Things are getting tight. And a voice 
inside his head asks at last, "Why 
me?" Or maybe the voice is saying, 
"Woe is me," which, when you think 
about it, is pretty much the same 
thing, one way or the other. 

One way or the other is exactly the 
choice he has, Pilate knows. One way 
is to play it smart, to do the expedient 
thing, let them have their pound of 
flesh from this Galilean nobody who'll 
be forgotten inside of three weeks. No 
skin off my back, Pilate tells himself. 
It is an unfortunate choice of imagery, 
for it reminds him of the sounds of 
flogging he had heard not long before. 
Pilate looks again at the man whose 
life rests in his hands. 

The other way, defy these jackals in 
the name of conscience or obstinacy, do 
the right thing, save the prisoner's 
neck and maybe his own soul in the 
bargain. The price: quite possibly re- 
call to Rome to face disgrace. 

Half to himself, half to those who 
stand waiting, Pilate asks, "What 
shall I do with this Jesus?" The an- 
swer storms his ears, "Let him be 

So Pilate makes his decision. And 
the question comes again. Was Pilate a 
victim of the times, the circumstances, 

a pawn of fate? Or doesn't that plea 
hold up? Was he, rather, a man who 
chose wrongly? Take your pick— it's 
one way or the other. 

But before you choose, take one final 
look at the Roman procurator. See 
Pilate standing in front of the crowd. 
He has called for water, and as it is 
poured out, he washes his hands and 
cries, "I am innocent of this man's 
blood; see to it yourselves." And now, 
look away quickly, for it is an embar- 
rassing sight. Such a pathetic, futile 
gesture. Of course, Pilate could not 
know he would be remembered thus 
through the ages. And if he really 
believed he had no choice in the mat- 
ter, then why the water and why the 
washing of hands? 

Deep down Pilate knew it was no 
good. His hands would never be clean, 
anymore than his conscience would. 
And at night, wakened by one of his 
wife's bad dreams, Pilate could see 
that forlorn figure standing in front of 
him again. And Pilate knew there 
were choices that could never be un- 
made. The death of Jesus was not de- 
pendent on Pontius Pilate. In fact, the 
death Pilate caused was not our Lord's 
death; it was his own death, his own 
soul's death. 

Today we shed no tears for Pilate. 
It's ourselves we worry about. We ask, 
How free am I? My body, with its limi- 
tations and its susceptibility to heart 
disease or high blood pressure or can- 
cer, is determined by heredity. My 

psyche has been conditioned by the 
way my parents treated me in my 
early years. I am controlled by eco- 
nomics, by politicians, by half a hun- 
dred other factors I am helpless to 
change. I am Victim. I am Pawn. 

That is one way to think of it. 

But there is the other way. It means 
acknowledging certain undeniable 
limitations we face but nevertheless 
accepting the burden of human free- 
dom. It means hearing the beat of a 
different drummer and marching to it. 
It means making choices, even when 
the right answers are far from clear. It 
may mean accepting the role, not of 
procurator but of the crucified. It 
means recognizing that some decisions 
mean we can't go back again. 

It's true that part of life is what 
happens to us. But the other part is 
also true. To some extent we become 
what we choose to become. It's faith 
that saves us in the end. Faith that 
our choices are not just leaps into the 
dark but into the everlasting arms. It 
is faith that teaches us we were des- 
tined to be more than victims, more 
than pawns, nothing less than free 
men and free women. And it is faith 
too that assures us that Christ himself 
made the free choice to come to us in 
love and that in this coming God was 
present and is present, reconciling the 
world to God. 

We call that divine choice "grace," 
and without it there wouldn't be much 
point to the whole thing. • 

one way or the other 

Grieving our way into hope 

Joyce Shutt 

"We have to grieve our way into hope." 
She was talking about facing nuclear 
war, but I heard it as a truism that 
applied to everything in life. Faced 
with the painful— the unthinkable— we 
have to grieve our way into hope. 

My mother is doing that in the wake 
of my father's death. A friend is doing 
that following her divorce. My hus- 
band is doing that as he grapples with 
the crippling effects of rheumatoid 
arthritis. They are grieving their way 
into acceptance, into hope for a future 
without the familiar and desirable. 
Each is learning to value his or her 
pain, for to deny themselves the purg- 
ing their grief allows is to deny them- 
selves healing. Grieving is the 
fundamental way we move from pain, 
disappointment, hurt and fear to open- 
ness and hope. 

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has worked 
with terminally ill patients and their 
families. She has found that most of us 
go through five distinct stages of grief 
if we are to find emotional and spirit- 
ual health. These stages are denial, 
bargaining, anger, depression and fi- 
nally acceptance. She has also found 
that unless an individual grapples 
with the appropriate feelings and re- 
sponses connected with each stage, 
they tend to become "blocked." They 
cannot move on to a peaceful state of 
acceptance and hope. 

Hope does not imply easy answers 
and solutions, as a friend who is alco- 
holic, divorced and frequently de- 
pressed is discovering. For her, as for 
all of us, hope is that which enables 
her to face whatever lies ahead with 
openness to possibility, with a fragile 
yet real spirit of anticipation and ex- 
pectation of a better tomorrow even in 
the face of hardships and limitations. 
Hope is the quiet trust and acceptance 
of what is and must be, after all of our 
attempts to deny, rage, bargain and 
blot out the pain. Hope is the ability 
to face head on what must be faced 
without bowing in self-hatred or de- 
feat. Hope does not come easily, for it 
is never easy to grieve. 

Grief is the essential process of 
mourning for what might have been as 
well as for what is and will be. As long 
as we deny or argue against life, as 
long as we withhold and hide our true 
feelings and responses, fears and 
struggles, as long as we hang on to our 
broken, damaged pasts in a futile at- 

tempt to give our stories validity, we 
prevent the things for which we long 
from happening. 

Jesus said, "Whoever would save his 
soul shall lose it," meaning that as 
long as we enclose, deny or isolate our 
true responses and feelings, we will 
lose our spiritual moorings precisely 
because our soul and personality is 

alive only to the degree to which we 
are authentically involved with life. 
When we don't withdraw or shrink 
from pain and self-knowledge but can 
grieve for ourselves and others, we can 
move on. As long as we think that 
grief is not a healthy or appropriate 
response to pain, we will put our en- 
ergy into a misguided attempt to be 


Menno Wiebe 



a e 


he hangs 

a homeless Christ 

they hoisted him up 
to hand him back 
only to be abandoned 
by God himself 

rejected at both ends 
he dies 

the sidelined of the world 
know rejection's pain 
as it trickles relentlessly 
through the c 








124 MARCH 25, 1986 

falsely strong. For when we refuse to 
grieve, to mourn for ourselves, we be- 
come blocked. We tie ourselves into 
tight knots by insisting that we, others 
and events follow certain patterns, 
respond in specific, prescribed ways. 
Instead we must learn to value what 
we feel, to move into that feeling and 
to learn what it is trying to tell us 
about ourselves and life. That's what 
Jesus is trying to tell us about not 
trying to save ourselves from pain. 

Hope, contrary to our expectations, 
does not necessarily imply a happy 
ending. Hope rather provides us with 
the comfort that comes in acceptance, 
the peace that defies our human un- 
derstanding. As with the terminally ill 
who, when they stop fighting the real- 
ity of their impending death and in- 
stead focus on the joy and presence of 
the moments they still have left, find 
life more beautiful than ever before. 

"Blessed are they that mourn, for 
they shall be comforted," Jesus said. 
There is no comfort unless we can 
literally cry our guts out. Perhaps the 
greatest flaw in the American ap- 
proach to life, as exemplified in the 
arms race and other areas of interna- 
tional and domestic affairs, is that 
most Americans do not see their pro- 
profit, pro-military and anti-people 
choices as a cause for mourning, repen- 
tance and grief. By refusing to ac- 
knowledge the connections between 
the arms race and dependence on mili- 
tary might with the national deficit, 
unemployment, the worldwide econ- 
omy and the spread of communism 
and revolution in the rest of the world, 
they are blocked from grieving their 
way into hope and new positions of 
understanding and strength. 

Each year on Palm Sunday, Chris- 
tians celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry 
into Jerusalem. We Christians make 
that a festive occasion. But if we read 
the Gospel accounts carefully, we sense 
that for Jesus this entry was a time 
for grieving his way into hope as he 
faced his impending crucifixion. The 
apocalyptic message is that in spite of 
everything, the ultimate triumph of 
hope is that we can anticipate the 
future even in the face of all that is 
truly hopeless. Life is not limited to 
our individual experiences and percep- 
tions. The power of our emotions and 
our ability to feel and to embrace the 
pain of life somehow impacts on all of 
life and somehow saves us from evil 
and insanity. To lose our life in order 
to save it goes far beyond our individ- 
ual experiences. It also applies to how 
we impact on others and they on us. 

Hope comes as we realize that what we 
sacrifice or give up is never wasted. 
Hope comes as we comprehend that 
our loss does not really impoverish us, 
for what we are really giving up are 
our desires, our greeds, our lust for 
power and self-destruction. Hope comes 
as we sense that true freedom involves 
letting go of that which now seems 
most precious and safe. 

When we examine the Gospel ac- 
counts of the Passion Week we discover 
several images of Jesus grieving his 
way toward hope. Luke records a dra- 
matic picture of Jesus weeping as he 
rides into Jerusalem. At various times 
that week we see Jesus struggling 
with the various stages of grief— lash- 
ing out in anger during the cleansing 
of the temple, being depressed as he 
speaks of the end times, bargaining 
with God in the Garden of Gethsem- 
ane as he begs God to remove the cup 
from him, being bitter with disappoint- 
ment over the disciples' failure to stay 
awake and support him, crying out in 
despair from the cross. Yet by facing 
up to what he was truly experiencing 
instead of denying his feelings, by 
grieving for what lay ahead and the 
cost it would have for him, he found 
the comfort he sought and the courage 
that carried him through. 

So it is with us. We find the strength 
we need when we face up to the sin, 
pain and failure of our individual and 
corporate lives. We must learn to con- 
front the dark side of ourselves, to 
admit the true state of our motives: 
the church's and the world's with all 
of their combined injustices and forms 
of oppression, if we are to find a way 
out of the escalating madness and 
blindness of vision which now corrupts 
our religious, personal and political 
systems everywhere. Busy denying the 
many ways we work against ourselves 
and block the very things we covet 
most, we are prevented from enjoying 
the fruits of our labors and spirits. 

Many of us are angry with God. We 
are disappointed and hurt because we 
want Jesus to save us from the things 
we fear, from the consequences of our 
selfishness, anxiety, mean spirits, na- 
tional policy and personal choices. We 
want to be greedy and selfish without 
hurting others in the Third World; we 
want to spend money irresponsibly 
without creating a budget deficit. 
John's account of Jesus' last visit to 
Mary and Martha is instructive in this 
way. Mary pours an expensive perfume 
on Jesus' feet, but Judas reacts in 
anger, claiming the perfume should 
have been sold to feed the poor. But 

John says of Judas, "He said this not 
because he cared for the poor, but be- 
cause he was a thief; he carried the 
money bag and would help himself 
(John 12:6). Judas liked handling 
money. It made him feel important. He 
liked money for what it did for him. 
Like Judas, most of us judge and criti- 
cize others because we ourselves feel 
threatened, not because we are con- 
cerned about them and what they are 
doing. But because it is so hard for us 
to face our true motives, we have a 
great ability to blame others or to 
rationalize what we are really doing. 
We say, for instance, that we are con- 
cerned about Central America, South 
Africa, Ethiopia, but our real concerns 
lie with protecting our own jobs or 
standards of living, our egos and our 
pride. We say we are concerned about 
church purity and correctness of bibli- 
cal interpretation, but rarely are those 
the real issues. 

My guess is that if we could really 
let go and be honest, all church 
schisms, disagreements and conflict 
situations rise from the poisoned wells 
of self-interest and our unwillingness 
to confront and admit the true nature 
of our thoughts, feelings and actions. 
Caught in our sin, we feel hopeless 
and afraid. Afraid to admit we are 
afraid. Afraid to admit we might be 
wrong. Afraid of what God might ask 
us to give up. Afraid to grieve, for we 
know deep within the core of our being 
that Jesus will not protect us from the 
consequences of our actions, that Jesus 
came only to provide us with the way, 
not to walk it for us. 

Yet that is enough. It is enough that 
Jesus came to provide us with a way 
instead of walking it for us— when we 
are willing to grieve our way into the 
comfort, hope and the acceptance he 
offers. Once we come to terms with our 
childish desire to be protected and 
cared for, the inadequacy of our belief 
systems and doctrines of faith, Jesus 
shows us the way. It is the way of the 
cross— the way of letting go and letting 
God, the way of losing to win. 

So I beg you to grieve. Grieve for the 
time we have lost as a church, for the 
mistakes we have made, for the false 
gods we are worshiping. Grieve for 
yourself, your broken life and fears 
and anxieties, for your disappoint- 
ments and failures. Like the people of 
Nineveh, let us put on sackcloth and 
ashes and repent for our sins. For our 
God redeems and transcends our bro- 
ken pasts and fragmented lives. Let us 
dare to grieve our way into God's 
hope. • 

The Mennonite (ISSN 0025-9330) seeks to witness, teach, motivate and build the Christian fellowship within the context of Christian love and freedom under the guidance of the 
Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. It is published semimonthly by the General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS67114. Subscription rates: one year, 
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fifiTfi ANd OFe 

Dollars and retirement security 

Calvin Redekop 

I have a friend who often talked and 
thought about retirement when we 
were together in college. I used to 
laugh at him. 

His concerns may not have been so 
crazy after all. A recent report on re- 
tirement states that an adequate fi- 
nancial security for retirement should 
be a capital base large enough to sup- 
ply half of your highest annual prere- 
tirement salary At 10 percent interest, 
this would amount to a kitty five 
times your annual salary at its high- 
est. (Ironically, my friend did not reach 
that base. He has retired but is work- 
ing at odd jobs to make ends meet.) 

What is enough for a secure retire- 
ment? If an adequate retirement 
means a lot of money, those who are 
still quite young had better start work- 
ing on this right away. A friend, an 
administrative officer at a major uni- 
versity where I studied, used to say, 
"An adequate financial position or 
status at any point in life is always at 
least 20 percent more than you have 
access to." 

Clearly, the financial figure depends 
upon a lot of factors: (1) Your health in 
retirement years. If you are going to 
be a wiry and feisty 93 when you die, 
that is one thing, but a long and sickly 
dependency is another. (2) Your style of 
life. How much money do you need to 
spend in order to feel good? For some 
this means a fifth-wheel RV and four- 
wheel drive pickup or a trip to Hawaii 
every year, while others get driven into 
ecstasy with a daily round of horse- 
shoes. (3) Your friends' expectations. 
How much do you need to spend on 
your friends to make them feel good? 
What if you can't afford to take your 
turn at paying at an expensive restau- 
rant every Friday evening? (4) Your 
bodily needs. This sounds like a repeat 
of #1, but it is not. Your friends' style 
of life and expectations can affect your 
bodies. Some of our bodies need to be 
in a warm climate, preferably in Ar- 
izona or Florida, especially in the win- 

It is possible to retire with?c[i 

ter, or we need the dry air of the 
southwest, or we need to be near a golf 
course in Palm Springs at a time ap- 
proaching age 65. If our friends did 
not have these needs, our bodies proba- 
bly wouldn't demand them either. (5) 
Your actual survival needs. How much 
food, clothing and shelter will you 
need as you age? After 22, the needed 
calorie intake declines and, as we get 
older, our wrinkles can cover much of 
our bodies where clothes were neces- 
sary before. 

With all these variations it is diffi- 
cult to get much closer to an actual 
figure. The secure nest egg will vary 
tremendously, depending upon the 
individual or couple in question. 

There is no way you can adequately 
prepare for a secure retirement, finan- 
cially or otherwise. If you had a mil- 
lion bucks but had a stroke at 66, your 
dividends would not bring you back 
your speech or buy the loving devotion 
of a nurse who might have to take care 
of you for another 16 years. Or if you 
died on your 66th, you would not get 
too much joy out of clipping coupons in 
heaven in light of all the more exciting 
things to do there. Or if you had 
barely enough to live on but had little 
more to do than eat the turnips your 
wife had prepared and watch TV day 
after day, more money would not help 
much. So financial security is no solu- 
tion and in itself no security for 

The best retirement security plan 
(not amount) I can think of includes 
the following: (1) Keep in good general 
health so that your body will get you 
into the promised land of retirement. 
Only then will you have reason to 
worry about retirement now. (2) Think 
of something to do if you make it to 
retirement, because if you had a mil- 
lion or so then, you may not have 
enough time to decide what you would 
do with it. And your poor cousins' 
advice might be a bit skewed. (3) Live 
in a socialist country, where there is a 

w JLj 

social security net that will take care 
of you. If you, for example, have a 
stroke at 40 or lose your memory and 
walk away from your family in a capi- 
talist society, things will be a bit more 
severe. I know of cases of each of these 
and I am sure you do too. (4) Begin 
early to build some solid relationships 
with a spouse, several children or 
friends (maybe even with a congrega- 
tion) so that they will take care of you 
under any contingency or disaster that 
might befall you. Thus, if you have 
coupons to clip from stocks, but lose 
your memory and forget how to sign 
your name, they can help you. Or if 
you have gone bankrupt during the 
last three recessions, any one of the 
groups named above may provide a 
closet and potato chips until the 
trumpet calls. 

This may seem contrary to all the 
literature and public media propa- 
ganda which have urged us all to start 
thinking of retirement early and to 
plan for retirement now. Most of these 
messages have your welfare at heart, 
of course. Or do they? Not quite, for I 
argue that no one can predict what 
will happen. We need to take a differ- 
ent tack. And Jesus said something 
about not worrying too much about 
tomorrow. Making and keeping the 
strong bonds with loving and caring 
children, relatives and church friends 
is the best planning for a secure age in 
any world— capitalist, socialist or 
Christian. I am trying this tack with 
my children, but they occasionally 
hold me hostage. In a recent argument 
over who would wash the dishes, one of 
my sons responded, "Dad, if you don't 
wash those dishes, I will not give you 
that bunk I was saving for you." 

Of course, my feeling is it might be 
better not to have a large legacy. Then 
it will never be used for blackmail. 

Calvin Redekop is 
professor of sociology 
at Conrad Grebel 
College, Waterloo, 
ON N2L 3G6. 


MARCH 25, 1986 


The Lord is like an enemy (Lamentations 2) 

Monty Ledford 

This chapter is bad news for a 
preacher. It portrays our greatest sin: 
the sin of pleasing people and not God. 
The judgment on Israel could have 
been averted if prophets had chosen to 
"expose sin to ward off captivity" (v. 
14), but they did not. No time has been 
worse than ours for this temptation, 
and few churches are more susceptible 
to requiring false and worthless 
prophets than Mennonites. Why? Well, 
we Anabaptists wish always to operate 
on the basis of consensus, not adversa- 
rial pastoral/congregational models. 
We are so concerned to be servants 
that we confuse promoting someone's 
good with meeting his or her expecta- 
tions. We are so dependent upon the 
goodwill of people for our effectiveness 
in ministry that we dare not get them 
to dislike us. Our culture drums into 
us the need to enhance people's self- 
esteem so much that we are scared to 
rebuke anybody. And last, the rebuker 
draws a salary from the rebukee. 
("Whatever you say, pastor, don't get 
the treasurer mad.") All this makes 
for tremendous pressure to say what 
people want to hear. The ancient 
prophets succumbed, and with terrible 

Awful scenes of judgment appear in 
the writer's mind: the shouts of the 
ancient, thrice-yearly worshiping 
crowds are gone forever; instead there 
is the searing memory of enemy sol- 
diers roaring in the holy place (v. 7); 
the wasted little children whimpering 
their last breath as they die, one by 
one, in their mothers' helpless arms 
(vv. 11, 12); and the ultimate, mind- 
repelling horror: "Should women eat 
their offspring, the children they have 
cared for?" (v. 20). The results of sin 
are terrible. Pastors, let us vow to 
speak the word of God whether it is 
pleasant or not. Those hard words may 
save souls from awful punishment. Lay 
people, ask yourselves, "Is my dislike 
for my pastor due to the fact that he or 
she speaks unwelcome truth?" The 
stakes are too high for us to cultivate 

And yet . . . and yet . . . isn't this 
punishment too much? the writer asks. 
Granted we sinned and deserved pun- 
ishment, but is it really like God to 
"swallow up without pity" (v. 2)? These 
last two words lead us to the brink of 

our theology. We peer over and shud- 
der at the awful depths of an angry 
God's wrath. For, make no mistake 
about it, this is the Lord's doing. 

Oh, I know, I know, some Mennonite 
teachers insist that God cannot be the 
source of misery, that he simply allows 
the natural results of our sin to work 
itself out. That he is, in fact, truly 
non-resistant in his heroic and painful 
decision to let us burn ourselves on the 
stove of cause and effect. It is the devil 
who causes pain. All true, but not the 
whole story. 

The consuming, overwhelming at- 
tacker (vv. 1-8) can hardly be charac- 
terized as non-resistant. God is the 
subject of all these lines. His opposi- 
tion to sinners is as active as it is ter- 
rifying. Ezekiel spoke the same dread 
truth: "The Lord says, T am against 
you. I will draw my sword from its 
scabbard and cut off from you both the 
righteous and the wicked' " (Ezekiel 
21:3). There is a hard and terrifying 
side of God which is as much part of 
the Bible as his gentleness and kind- 
ness. We dare not neglect it because 

we can't fit it into our theology. Above 
all, we dare not misrepresent the char- 
acter of God to those who must one 
day meet him face to face. 

What are we to do in the presence of 
such a God? Here the true heart of our 
writer comes out. What are we to do? 
Flee his face? No. That seems natural, 
but it is the response of the damned 
(Revelation 6:15-17). Strange as it may 
seem, we are to flee to him. He is ter- 
rible in wrath, but he is our only hope. 
The writer calls to his devastated peo- 
ple, "Arise! Cry out in the night . . . 
pour out your heart like water in the 
presence of the Lord" (v. 19). The des- 
perate determination to deal with God 
face to face in spite of the horror leads 
the writer to the truly amazing break- 
through of chapter three, which is so 
different from the other chapters and 
might almost be entitled, with Luther, 
"How can I find a gracious God?" 
Third in a series on Lamentations 

Monty Ledford, 11 Dean N.E., Grand 
Rapids, MI 49505, is pastor at the 
North Park Mennonite Church. 

God comes among us also in judgment. This painting by Israeli artist Shalom of Safed is 
titled "The Falling Walls of Jericho." Jericho was visited by judgment. 



My Easter came a little late 

Marlene J. Bagnull 

My voice trembled as I sang the old 
familiar hymn, "Christ the Lord Is 
Risen Today." Around me faces were 
glowing with Easter joy, but my heart 
felt empty. 

"Raise your joys and triumphs high," 
the congregation crescendoed, but I 
choked on the words as a tear slipped 
down my cheek. How could I celebrate 
the victory of Easter when my life was 
so filled with disappointment and 

The pastor's message was about 
hope, but I didn't hear his words. All I 
heard was an inner voice telling me it 
was too risky to keep hoping for mira- 
cles that never come. And somewhere 
during the service I made the decision 
to give up— to withdraw from God and 
others because it hurt too much to 
keep reaching and believing. 

"You can't live without hope," a wise 
friend reminded me when I uninten- 
tionally revealed my feelings several 
days later. "The Bible says, 'No one 
who believes in Christ will ever be 
disappointed' " (Romans 10:11, TLB). 

Hours later I was still struggling 
with my reaction to her words. "I don't 
need pat religious answers. I need 
help." I felt like screaming at her and 
God. Then I felt guilt and remorse. I 
had loved and served the Lord all my 
adult life. I didn't want to deny him 
now. Yet how was I to balance life's 
reality with the promises of the Bible? 

I thought of Jesus' words to his disci- 
ples the night before he went to the 
cross. He told them they would go on 
to accomplish greater things than he 
had done (John 14:12). He promised 
the Holy Spirit would come and lead 
them into all truth (John 14:17). 

But what was truth for them and for 

Opening my Bible, I read Jesus' 
final words, "I have told you all this so 
that you will have peace of heart and 
mind. Here on earth you will have 
many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, 
for I have overcome the world" (John 
16:33, TLB). 

I thought of the early Christians. 
They did the miracles Jesus had done 
and even greater ones. In his name 
they healed the sick and restored the 
dead to life. They preached the gospel 
to the ends of the earth as they knew 
it. Centuries later their words, as they 

have been recorded and preserved in 
the New Testament, continue to touch 
and change lives. 

But the early Christians also knew 
the reality of trials and sorrows. I won- 
dered if the joy of the resurrection 
faded for them when, like the Master, 
some of them were nailed to their own 
crosses? And what were the feelings of 
those who were beaten to death or 
beheaded or thrown to the lions? 

In his second letter to the Corinthian 
Christians Paul writes about the "suf- 
fering and hardship and trouble of 
every kind" he endured. He had been 
"beaten, put in jail, faced angry mobs, 
worked to exhaustion, stayed awake 
through sleepless nights of watching, 
and gone without food" (2 Corinthians 
6:4-5, TLB). 

None of these things would make an 
attractive help wanted ad for Christian 
workers. Yet Paul went on to say that 
"our hearts ache, but at the same time 
we have the joy of the Lord" (2 Corin- 
thians 6:10, TLB). This apostle, who 
suffered much for the cause of Christ, 
wrote the words my Christian friend 
had reminded me of: "No one who 
believes in Christ will ever be disap- 
pointed" (Romans 10:11, TLB). 

The pastor's message 
was about hope, but 
I didn't hear his 

"Lord, how could he be so strong?" I 
asked as I continued to flip through 
the pages of my Bible. Then the word 
"but" jumped off the page in 2 Corin- 
thians 4:8-9, (TLB): "We are pressed on 
every side by trouble, but not crushed 
and broken. We are perplexed because 
we don't know why things happen as 
they do, but we don't give up and quit. 
We are hunted down, but God never 
abandons us. We get knocked down, 
but we get up again and keep going" 
(italics mine). 

Suddenly it dawned on me that I had 
a choice. I could continue to nurse 
"Why me?" feelings of self-pity, or I 
could remember that Christ never 
promised it would be easy to follow 
him. I could also choose to claim his 
peace and joy available for the ask- 
ing—his peace and joy that could bring 
victory within regardless of defeating 
circumstances without. 

Easter came late for me, but the 
following Sunday when I stood to sing 
hymns of praise in morning worship, 
tears of joy spilled down my cheeks. 

Marlene J. Bagnull, 316 Blanchard 
Road, Drexel Hill, PA 19026, is a free- 
lance writer. 


MARCH 25, 1986 


Good Friday revisited 

James E. Tomlonson 

A young man I know came to my office 
on Good Friday morning. He greeted 
me, then hurriedly explained he was 
at risk with the law. He wanted me to 
know that his presence at the church 
might jeopardize my own legal status. 

I said he was welcome to stay. 

He had broken his federal probation, 
and federal marshals were wanting to 
pick him up. He spent the morning in 
my office writing and in our sanctuary 
praying and meditating. At about 

II a.m. he asked if I might be willing 
to transport him to a nearby state 
park where he was slated to meet 
some friends. Without really giving it 
a second thought, I said yes. 

On the way he said he did not want 
to place me in jeopardy for his beliefs. 
We agreed that if we were stopped en 
route by the federal marshals, I would 
simply say that I was taking him to 
meet the marshals. He did not want to 
inflict his beliefs nor his encounter 
with the authorities upon me. I indi- 
cated that I realized the danger, yet I 
supported him in his peacemaking 
witness to his faith. 

You see, today he was on his way to 
be part of a presence at the gate of a 
local air force base. It was on this day 
a year ago that he had broken the law 
by crossing over the line into the base 
as part of a Good Friday protest 
against the deployment of nuclear 

When we were about halfway to the 
park, a car with two federal marshals 
passed us at a high rate of speed. (He 
remembered one of them from a prior 
encounter.) It was his hope to arrive at 
the park and to spend some time with 
his friends before the arrest. He spoke 
of the arrest, remarking that he 
wanted it on Good Friday. It had deep 
religious significance for him and it 
became that for me as well. 

We entered the park and drove to the 
place where his friends had agreed to 
meet. They were already gathered. As 
we entered the area, he spoke over and 
over again to himself, "Blessed are the 
peacemakers, for theirs is the presence 
of God." We greeted one another and 
had just begun to exchange some of his 
personal belongings when, out of no- 
where, a car approached and two men 
in suits got out. He remarked, 
"They're here and I am ready." 


What happened next was almost like 
a dream. One man quickly came for- 
ward with his hand on his belt. The 
second man called out, "Are you 

?" My friend replied quietly, 

"Yes, I am." The marshal asked him to 
approach their car, where he spoke to 
him in low tones. The second man 
searched him and returned to him all 
his personal items, including a Good 
News Bible. 

As they placed him in the car, some- 
one in the group began to sing softly 
and others joined in. As they drove 
away, we all waved. He could not re- 
turn the wave for he had his hands 
behind him in handcuffs. 

We don't know where the "kiss" 
came from, but we suspect someone 
was in the nearby woods waiting for 
my car to arrive and gave the signal. 

The Bible tells of another who also 
came to "a park" to be with his 

friends. There he was arrested and led 
off by the soldiers. For me, my experi- 
ence lifted the words right off the 
pages of my Bible. Those words be- 
came flesh as my friend was led off to 

You and I know people within our 
daily routines who continue to be led 
off to prison and, for some, even to 
death. They have spoken of their faith 
to a world that is not ready to hear the 
news of peace, justice and the desire to 
live in a peaceful world. Will we listen 
to their witness? Will we hear their 
plight? Or will we continue to live as 
if God's Word will not break into our 

James E. Tomlonson, Route 5, Box 950, 
Warrensburg, MO 64093, is pastor of 
the Church of the Brethren there. He 
writes about Good Friday two years 

The twisted paths of human loyalties can be symbolized by this stretch of railway track. 

Pontius' Puddle 




Sexuality resolution debated 

GB proposes 'evangelize' as overarching goal 

Newton, Kan.— "Come back and tell 
me everything that's happening in the 
General Conference," 96-year-old Peter 
A. Warkentine instructed his daughter 
Anne Warkentine Dyck when she left 
Saskatchewan to come to Council of 
Commissions here. (She is Women in 
Mission adviser for her province.) 

"What's happening" emerges in six 
categories: General Board, Commis- 
sions on Education, Home Ministries 
and Overseas Mission, the Division of 
Administration and Women in Mission. 

General Board 

Anybody attending the first full day 
of General Board sessions held here 
Feb. 27-March 4 could have thought 
they were in a writers' workshop. At 
their previous meeting General Board 
members had organized themselves 
into four small groups. Each was to 
write out the meaning of one of the 
four basic long-range goals for General 
Conference: (1) evangelize, (2) teach 
vital and meaningful biblical princi- 
ples, (3) develop and train leadership, 
(4) seek to achieve Christian unity. 

When these goals were shared at the 
meetings, GB members learned what 
every writer has to learn: prewrite, 
write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. ... It 
seemed tedious and tough at times, 
but in the end there was a consensus 
on what these goals mean. Carol Suter, 
GC development director, commented, 
"The first step in development is a 
clear formulation of our mission. With- 
out such an exercise you can forget 
about long-range planning, whether 
it's missions or fund raising." 

Later the board agreed to make 
"evangelize" their priority for at least 
the next triennium, since all four goals 
cannot be given full attention at one 
time. Teaching biblical principles, 
training leadership and achieving 
unity will of course be needed to sup- 
port evangelism, said one GB member, 
but the emphasis of projects will be on 
evangelism and church planting. All of 
this depends on the approval of dele- 
gates at Saskatoon, Suter said. 

The exercise was similar when the 
GB looked at a proposed draft of the 
resolution on human sexuality to be 
brought before the Saskatoon triennial 
conference in July. There was much 
debate and then a series of rewrites. 
Loretta Fast expressed concern that a 
statement not be used to exclude ho- 
mosexual Mennonites or their parents. 
Don Steelberg objected to any resolu- 
tion because it may encourage more 
people to ignore the study process. 
Jake Harms countered, a resolution 
can state where we are at this point. 

Anna Juhnke raised another issue. 
"If homosexual practice is not accept- 
able because of the importance of the 
marriage covenant, then to be consis- 
tent we must condemn divorce." Irene 
Dunn pointed out that we think about 
divorce differently since it has touched 
nearly all our lives. But Duane Hef- 
felbower said there's a qualitative 
difference, since divorce does not con- 
tinue. In the end a resolution was 
written to be presented to delegates at 
Saskatoon, and it passed by a vote of 
11 to 3. 

Jake Tilitzky, GC president, ex- 

pressed gratitude to God and to the 
whole conference for the 1985 "hallelu- 
jah" budget results: 101.9 percent. It 
was the first time budget goals were 
met since 1980. Guidelines for 1986 
are a 4 percent increase over the 1985 
budget, or $5,624,320. Staff salaries 
are to be raised 3 percent in keeping 
with inflation. 

Reflecting positively on the 1984 
Dialogue on Faith and the 1985 Dia- 
logue on Biblical Interpretation, GB 
decided to not continue this series for 
now. They will urge regional confer- 
ences to continue the process in their 
own ways. 

Vern Preheim, GC general secretary, 
reported his participation in a group of 
"Christian Leaders for Responsible 
TV." The GB endorsed his ongoing 
involvement. Steelberg said, "I'm in 
favor, but I wish we could also endorse 
other groups, like the National Coun- 
cil of Churches, in similar projects to 
work for decency." 

The board agreed to a Division of 
Administration proposal on the redis- 
tribution of funds. From now on, all 
undesignated contributions will go 
where most needed. This will have a 
leveling effect on the percentages of its 
budget each commission makes. 

In other business the board: 

• reviewed the work of Mennonite 
Mutual Aid, then later agreed to elim- 
inate reporting of MMA to General 
Board, since it already reports to the 
Conference of Mennonites in Canada 
and can report to the U.S. Council; 

• passed a motion brought by CHM 
U.S. that GB reverse its recommen- 

130 MARCH 25, 1986 

A retreat for parents and adult sib- 
lings of homosexually oriented people 
will be held June 13-15 at the Interna- 
tional House of Friendship in Winona 
Lake, Ind. This retreat will provide a 
context for people to share their expe- 
riences, to deal with personal feelings 
of pain and guilt, and to discuss the 
homosexuality issue with each other. 
The retreat is sponsored by the Menno- 
nite Church. For more information and 
registration materials, contact Lavon 
Welty, Mennonite Board of Congrega- 
tional Ministries, Box 1245, Elkhart, 
IN 46515, (219) 294-7536. 

Around 250-300 people packed the 
new Taguatinga Mennonite Church in 
Brazil one Sunday evening in Decem- 
ber to see the film "Jesus." Eleven 
people made decisions that night, so 
the members have been busy visiting 
these new Christians. On Sunday, 
Dec. 22, 1985, the Campinas Church 
had a baptismal service. Four people 
were baptized in a tank which had 
recently been dug and built outside 
the kitchen door. It was a meaningful 
experience, especially as pastor Joao 
Moraes baptized his mother. 

Registration forms for the triennial 
sessions of the General Conference 
Mennonite Church have been mailed 
to its member congregations. The con- 
ference theme, "Thy Kingdom Come," 
will be the focus of the sessions to be 
held July 21-27 in Saskatoon. Regis- 
trations will be processed after April 
1, at which time originals will be re- 
turned as confirmation. 

dation to Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee that it continue to withhold taxes 
from its employees even when they 
request otherwise; 

• responded with regret to Ebenezer 
Mennonite Church, Bluffton, Ohio, 
which had voted to withdraw from the 

Commission on Education 

Most of the meeting time of the Com- 
mission on Education was spent in 
closed session to discuss staff matters. 
From this nothing has yet been re- 
ported except that executive secretary 
J. W. Sprunger has resigned, effective 
Jan. 31, 1987, and that Randy and 
Myrna Krehbiel, secretaries for family 
life education, were not reappointed. 

COE agreed to participate in a new 
Foundation Series curriculum for 
adults, 18 quarters of material to be 
ready for use in congregations by 
1990. Chairman Fred Unruh called it 
"a historic occasion." 

New computer equipment has al- 
lowed book editing to proceed much 
more quickly than before, general edi- 
tor Maynard Shelly reported. He said 
he hopes to put out "a book a month" 
in the coming year. 

Just published by Faith and Life 
Press, the publishing arm of COE, is 
Young or Old or In Between by Bertha 
Harder. Due out by this summer is 
Encircled, stories of Mennonite 
women, edited by Ruth Unrau. FLP 
again did over $1 million of business. 

Foundation Series resource people, 
representing every provincial and dis- 
trict conference, met the day before the 
commission meetings with Rosella 
Wiens Regier, secretary for children's 

Mennonite Service Venture is a new 
inter-Mennonite (MC-GC) track for 
conference youth work. Paula Diller 
Lehman, secretary for youth educa- 
tion, described it thus: Individuals 
interested in summer service (in a 

COE in session 

variety of locations) may apply to 
Youth Venture, while whole groups 
(youth fellowships) may be assigned to 
a summer experience through Group 

Twelve Mennonite Marriage Encoun- 
ters were held during the last season, 
which roughly coincides with the 
school year. Randy and Myrna Kreh- 
biel reported that all were full and 
half of them had waiting lists. 

Commission on Home Ministries 

The Commission on Home Ministries 
heard Malcolm Wenger say, "The mis- 
sions we've been doing overseas is 
coming to us in North America as we 
reach out to Chinese, Hispanics, East 
Indians and others. I think there's a 
new day coming. If we take missions 
seriously, it will bring major changes 
as we relate to our new brothers and 
sisters in Christ. I don't think the 
conference will ever be the same 

Wenger, former missionary to the 
Cheyenne in Montana and with Native 
Ministries in Manitoba, spoke to 
CHM's plan to make North American 
ethnics more a part of the conference 

The idea threaded its way through- 
out the meetings, as in missionary 
Robert Ramseyer's talk on cross-cul- 
tural work. He said, "We will be trad- 
ing our relative comfort now enjoyed in 
congregations for options of growth 
and inclusion of traditions and ideals 

that are different from our own. Those 
who have felt most at home in the 
conference will be the ones who are 
most uncomfortable. 

"The conference will need to adapt to 
other-cultural people, become bicul- 
tural or tricultural, rather than expect 
other-cultural people to adapt to us. 
Why become a multiethnic church? 
That's what the gospel is all about— 
reconciliation, the breaking down of 
dividing walls, bringing people to- 
gether who wouldn't normally come 
together. It's more than toleration; it's 
becoming one people in Christ." 

Staff members also spoke about it in 
their presentations. Peter Ediger, Men- 
nonite Voluntary Service director, used 
the slogan-like phrase "many people 
becoming God's people" during MVS 

Multiethnicity also came easily into 
the report by Alberto Quintela of Min- 
neapolis. "We're planting Hispanic, 
Anabaptist churches," he said and 
then outlined how Hispanics could be 
more a part of the conference: through 
leadership training, literature develop- 
ment, church planting and congrega- 
tional resources. Quintela highlighted 
Marco Guete's taking over some of his 
functions. Both will be working on a 
part-time basis. 

At one point CHM member Claude 
Boyer, pastor from Reedley, Calif, said, 
"Is this vision (for a multiethnic con- 
ference) out there in the church? I 
don't think so. I haven't found this 
new version on a larger level." Don 
Steelberg, CHM chairman, replied, 
"What are the next steps for this ap- 
proach?" The board asked staff to 
further develop the proposal for Saska- 
toon's triennial sessions. 

The group also dealt with relations 
between the United States and Can- 
ada. "It's very, very hard to maintain 
a binational conference," said Larry 
Kehler, Conference of Mennonites in 

continued on next page 


Asha Handcrafts, housed in a former 
missionary bungalow in Jagdeeshpur, 
India, meets the needs of employment 
for local young women prior to mar- 
riage. From 20 to 27 are employed at 
any given time in an area where no 
other work is available. "Asha also 
teaches homemaking skills," says 
Mary G. Bauman, Berne, Ind., who 
spent five months in India in 1985 and 
is a former General Conference mis- 
sionary to India. 

"As Mennonites, you have a unique 
opportunity in the media to communi- 
cate your faith and positive values 
based on your heritage," commented 
Deanna Waters at the first annual 
meeting of the Mennonite Media Soci- 
ety Inc. The purpose of the newly 
founded MMS is to create productions 
with solid values and Christian con- 
tent from an Anabaptist perspective. 
MMS agreed to develop a sequel to the 
docudrama And When They Shall Ask 
that will follow the Mennonites in 
Canada from 1920-1945. The working 
title is The Settlers. 

Mennonite Central Committee Can- 
ada has long urged the Canadian 
government to resume its Vietnam aid 
program. It was cut off in 1980 after 
Vietnam invaded Cambodia, and Can- 
ada has held that Vietnam should first 
indicate on intention to withdraw. 
Canadian Embassy staff recently vis- 
ited Vietnam and saw areas where 
recent typhoons, the worst since 1904, 
had done severe damage. Soon there- 
after it was announced that Canada 
would give $50,000 to the Red Cross 
for aid to typhoon victims in Vietnam. 
It is a small amount, but it is better 
than nothing and may signify a slight 
measure of openness. 

GB continued 

Canada's general secretary. He said 
there will be a Canadian CHM by 

Staff member Robert Hull reported 
that the U.S. military will run the 
draft from beginning to end, as for 
example in the induction process. He 
also disagreed with MCC's decision 
not to stop withholding taxes of em- 
ployees. He said the General Board is 
partly responsible because it was con- 
tacted, along with seven other denomi- 
nations when the decision was being 

The CHM budget was set at 
$883,343. It allows for a 2 percent 
expansion of programs, but does not 
keep up with inflation. 

Mennonite Indian leaders gave gifts 
to Esther Rinner, who retired March 14 
after 15% years of service. 

Commission on Overseas Mission 

"Partnering" and "interdependence" 
are now the hallmarks of spreading 
the gospel of Jesus Christ. "We mis- 
sionaries," said Gerald Stucky, ad- 
dressing the commission to which he is 
responsible, "are servants." Job de- 
scriptions are characterized by diversi- 
fication. "Sometimes," smiled Vernelle 
Yoder, "I introduce myself as "Mis 
Cellaneous." (Stucky and Yoder are 
veteran missionaries in Colombia.) 

With Bharatiya General Conference 
Mennonite Church (BGCMC) in India, 
COM will begin to move from a ratio 
of 72/1 dollars sent to 10/1, encourag- 
ing the independence of that 86-year- 
old adult church. Reporting on India 
was fresh; staff Erwin Rempel and 
John Sommer returned just days be- 
fore from a three-week visit. Indian 
congregations are experiencing new 
unity. "We are celebrating peace year," 
writes R. P. Sona, director of Christian 
Nurture and New Thrust for BGCMC. 
Exhibiting some North American 

At CHM sessions (from left): Willis 
Busenitz, Ivorie Lowe 

unity, COM is pursuing joint sponsor- 
ship with Mennonite Board of Missions 
(MC) of faculty at Union Biblical Semi- 
nary in Pune, India. 

The Fellowship of Mennonite 
Churches in Taiwan has set a goal of 
doubling its membership (to 2,500) by 
the year 2000. FOMCIT is asking 
COM to "stand with them." 

Africa mission reporting came from 
James Bertsche, retiring executive 
secretary of Africa Inter-Mennonite 
Mission, under whose auspices COM 
works on that continent. Work with 
African Independent Churches con- 
tinues, as recommended by mission- 
aries in Botswana. "They and we 
together come as learners to God's 
word," missionary Jonathan Larson 
had told Bertsche. 

In Zaire, Bertsche said, there is a 
historic juncture with movement away 
from centralized leadership. "Sprawl- 
ing" organizations steer congregations 
in 33 districts, in five urban centers, 
among five tribal groups and five more 
(smaller) ethnic groups. In mission- 
related primary schools are 50,000 

"Presence evangelism" was docu- 
mented by Doug and Raylene Penner, 
former COM employees under China 
Educational Exchange. "Our best con- 
tribution," they said, "is to be compe- 
tent, prepared teachers whom students 
know to be Christians." 

COM approved four missionary cou- 
ples for service. Average age of the 
appointees is 36.25. The search is on 
for evangelists and church planters, 
reflecting the well-thought-through 
and stated goals of the commission (as 
well as of the General Conference). 
"Evangelism," says missiologist David 
Barrett, "is the most dangerous busi- 
ness," and he cites the thousands of 
Christian martyrs already in 1986. 

Robert "Jack" Suderman called on 
COM (with a six-point rationale) to 
increase an Anabaptist presence in 
Latin America. "Both Roman Catho- 
lics and evangelicals are taking fresh 
looks at their theology," said Suder- 
man, "and both are discovering Ana- 
baptism. They, who are just now 
having the reformation that we had 
450 years ago, are inviting us." 

An invitation that COM has ac- 
cepted is to participate in the Center 
for New Religious Movements, Selly 
Oaks, England. 

Division of Administration 

Division of Administration members 
spent much of their meeting time dis- 
cussing the implementation of the 
proposed Development Plan, subject to 
approval by delegates at the triennial 
sessions in Saskatoon in July. Carol 
Suter, development director, shared her 
concern of how to draw together the 
goals and plans in concrete ways. 
Many hours have been spent on details 
that will help make this kind of a 
fund/commitment drive successful. 
Many volunteers will need to become 

Another priority item on the agenda 
was the future of data processing for 

132 MARCH 25, 1986 

Drawing on the community of the 
church is one way to help families 
facing medical decisions, suggests 
Evelyn Rouner, a retired college profes- 
sor from Colwich, Kan. The Health 
Ethics Review Committee, sponsored 
by Mennonite Mutual Aid, met again 
in Fort Wayne, Ind., in February. Dur- 
ing the sharing, two facts surfaced: the 
high frequency of difficult medical 
situations and the need for informa- 
tion to aid decision-making. "We need 
to think about what quality of life is to 
our Anabaptist theology," Rouner says. 
"Then we need to build bridges be- 
tween our theology and current medi- 
cal practice." 

The Agriculture Department inten- 
tionally downplayed a report proving 
the success of a federal health and 
nutrition program for low-income preg- 
nant mothers and children, congres- 
sional critics charged recently. The 
five-year study of Agriculture's $1.56 
billion Women, Infants and Children 
program showed that the government's 
investment in prenatal and postnatal 
care produced "significant health bene- 
fits" for participants, including sub- 
stantial reductions in premature births 
and fetal and early infancy deaths. 

"Theology After Hiroshima," a dis- 
cussion of the implications for religion 
in the nuclear age, was the forum 
topic of James Garrison at Bluffton 
(Ohio) College Feb. 25. He is the direc- 
tor of the Soviet-American Exchange 
Program in San Francisco. According 
to Garrison, there are interesting 
parallels between response to nuclear 
weapons and the historic responses in 
our religious traditions to other great 

the General Conference. Faith and Life 
Press and the Commission on Educa- 
tion had requested a review prior to 
new software development for Faith 
and Life Press. After much discussion 
of two options, it was decided to go 
with the new hardware from Digital 
Equipment Corporation (DEC) and to 
purchase new software that the Con- 
ference of Mennonites in Canada is 
developing. One of the advantages of 
its system is a centralized name and 
address file. At a maximum cost of 
$145,000, it will be financed internally 
over a period of five years. Thus the 
cost will fit within the regular DA 
budget. This computer decision pro- 
vided direction to satisfy General Con- 
ference and Faith and Life Press 
future needs. 

Ray Frey, stewardship director, re- 
ported that the Stewards in Mission 
seminars have been well-attended. 
Frey said one of the plans of the new 
year is "to help congregations develop 
stewardship programs which follow the 
biblical base of creation, redemption 
and empowerment." 

In other business, Church Extension 
Services granted Community Menno- 
nite Church, Lancaster, Pa., a $50,000 
loan, and conference controller Duane 
Earley's term was renewed for three 

The approved total income budget of 
the conference is $5,624,320. Of this, 
$455,570 is for Commission on Educa- 
tion; $1,029,250 is for Commission on 
Home Ministries; $3,655,808 is for 
Commission on Overseas Mission, and 
$483,692 is for Mennonite Biblical 

Women in Mission 

Women in Mission executive, staff 
and council met Feb. 26-March 3. Lela 
Mae Sawatzky, new office secretary 
replacing Jeannette Schmidt, was in- 
troduced and welcomed. Following the 
resignation of Joan Wiebe, the execu- 

tive committee appointed Sara Regier 
as the new coordinator of WM, effec- 
tive Aug. 1. 

Seventeen representatives of the 
districts and provinces attended the 
council sessions. One challenge facing 
WM groups is declining membership. 
As women's roles continue to change, 
WM needs added flexibility in speak- 
ing to the concerns of all women. Per- 

At COM sessions (from left): Wanda Bergen, 
LaVonda Claassen, Harumi Nomura 

haps service opportunities should 
expand beyond the traditional. For 
example, a WM work camp abroad or 
in North America might be a possibil- 
ity. How can WM speak to the con- 
cerns of younger, professional women? 
Elsie Flaming, WM president, asked, 
"Are we in Women in Mission ready to 
take up the challenge in new and dif- 
ferent ways?" 

WM met only 91.9 percent of their 
budget. However, cash and material 
aid given by women for General Con- 
ference and non-conference causes 
amounted to $1,432,445. This amount 
includes giving to MCC, district pro- 
jects, local expenses and other non- 
conference causes. 

WM along with CHM and COE spon- 
sored a Parenting for Peace and Jus- 
tice seminar in January. Local WM 
groups are encouraged to work with 
their congregations in sponsoring 

workshops in their area. 

Mission education materials provide 
another joint WM, COE, CHM, COM 
project. The first set of materials fea- 
turing Latin America and North 
American Hispanic work will be avail- 
able at the triennial conference. 

A WM council member attends meet- 
ings of the Committee on Women's 
Concerns (CWC), an MCC-sponsored 
group. WM would like to keep explor- 
ing ways of relating to and working 
with the women of CWC. 

Window to Mission, edited by Lois 
Deckert, continues to be a program 
and educational resource for WM. An- 
other publication, Bright Ideas for 
Program Planning, edited by Donna 
Lehman, Fort Wayne, Ind., will be 
available at the triennial conference. 

continued on next page 

Job opening 

Lakewood Retreat Center has a full-time head 
cook/food service position open. Lakewood is a 
Christian retreat and camp conference center 
owned and operated as an arm of the 
Mennonite Church. Lakewood is located half 
way between Brooksville and Dade City, Fla. 

For more information, call or write: 
Lakewood Retreat Center 
c/o Terry Burkhalter 
25458 Dan Brown Hill Road 
Brooksville, FL 33512 
(904) 796-4097. 

Help needed 

Swift Current Bible Institute is now receiving 
applications for the following positions: 
principal, beginning in June, 
administrative assistant, beginning in May, 
teachers, beginning in September. 

Please send all applications and inquiries to: 

Attention: Personnel Committee 
Box 1268 

Swift Current, SK S9H 3X4. 


"Let's Plant a Church" is the name 
of a video presentation created by Ma- 
nuel Baez, Goshen (Ind.) College stu- 
dent sponsored by Hispanic Ministries 
of the General Conference. Using Co- 
munidad de Fe, Chicago, as a model, 
the video presents a method of church 
planting and trains leaders who are in 
the process of church planting. The 
Commission on Home Ministries is 
financing the project together with 
contributed time from AV-Production, 
which will have joint ownership. 

GB continued 

The devotional packet that compli- 
ments the program lessons in Window 
to Mission will be edited by Amy Rin- 
ner Dueckman from Clearbrook, B.C. 

Mennonite Biblical Seminary 

The Mennonite Biblical Seminary 
did not convene during Council of 
Commissions this year, but president 
Henry Poettcker reported to plenary 
sessions. Harold Thieszen, Buhler, 
Kan., has been appointed to the staff 
in church and seminary relations, 
replacing J. Herbert Fretz, who 
is retiring. 

Two (of a projected four) housing 
complexes for students have been com- 
pleted and paid for. 

Ruth Ann Gardner will replace Wey- 
burn W. Groff as registrar; Groff is 

Admissions counselor James Metzler 
reports high interest in seminary 
training as he visits congregations. 
Mennonite Biblical Seminary is ex- 
pecting a turnaround in the slightly 
lower enrollment of the last year, af- 
firming that congregations call people 
to the pastoral ministry. Lois D. Deck- 
ert, Gordon Houser, Marion Keeney 
Preheim, Sharon Wiebe Sommer, 
Muriel T. Stackley, Bernie Wiebe 

Assistant pastor needed 

First Mennonite Church, Saskatoon, is 

seeking a full-time assistant pastor, 
commencing Sept. 1. This could be a shared 

Primary responsibilities would be youth ministry 
and assisting with pulpit duties. Ability to give 
leadership in church music would be an asset. 

For information or application contact: 
Archie Epp, congregational chairman 
1513 Argyle Ave. 
Saskatoon, SK S7H 2W3 
(306) 374-1516. 

Over 100 people, tied in some way to 
home building, attended the first 
Home Builders Conference sponsored 
by the Laurelville Mennonite Church 
Center and a local planning committee 
Jan. 22-24 at Sarasota, Fla. Home 
builders came to Florida from as far 
west as Arizona and as far north as 
Ontario, and all parts of the Menno- 
nite family, from Beachy Amish to 
Brethren in Christ, were represented. 
It is believed that 80 percent of Saraso- 
ta's Mennonite permanent resident 
households are involved in building- 
related vocations. 

Children in Laos are the proud pos- 
sessors of school kits, assembled and 
sent to them with love from school 
children in North America, report 
MCC workers Titus Peachey and 
David Merchant. During each school 
visit, Oun Change, chairman of the 
Phong Saly education committee, 
explained that "these school supplies 
were given to you in the spirit of 
friendship and peace, because Menno- 
nites are people who love peace and 
want to build peace in the world. Now 
that you have received your notebooks 
and pencils you must be sure to study 
very hard." 

New! Guaranteed rate of 
return on MMA's IRA*. 

Returns on each deposit guaranteed for one year. After that, 
rates set each quarter, based on how investments perform. 

A guaranteed rate of return. If you're under age 70 and 
earning an income, a way to plan now for retirement needs. 
A way to practice stewardship and share with others, too. 

It's all part of MMA's new 
IRA. To find out more, 
call 800-348-7468, toll 
free. If you're in Indiana, 
call (219)533-9511 collect. 

*Individual Retirement Annuity 

Mutual Aid 

Keep in touch with The Marketplace, 

a magazine of business, faith 
and ethics. Now in a new bi- 
monthly format with more ideas, 
articles and inspiration for 
Christians on the job. 

The Marketplace — where 
faith and work get together. 

Rates: $10 a year; $18 lor two years 

Postal Code 

Clip and send to: Mennonite Economic Development Associates. 

400 280 Smith St., Winnipeg. MB R3C 1K2 

134 MARCH 25, 1986 

An American Friends Service Com- 
mittee report issued recently caused 
the Navy to respond with assurances 
that the occurrence of 630 nuclear 
weapon accidents and incidents over 
the past 20 years should not occasion 
any public concern. In a series of pri- 
vate briefings, anonymous Navy offi- 
cials told representatives of the news 
media that the high numbers of re- 
ported incidents is "misleading" and 
cautioned that the public should exam- 
ine the details before drawing any 
conclusions. That is good, but the 
Navy has consistently taken strong 
and determined actions to withhold 
those very details from public view. 

Bread for the World is urging U.S. 
Christians to spend $.66 for postage 
and the time to write three letters to 
Congress that could help save the lives 
of millions of children who otherwise 
will die each year from six preventable 
diseases. This "Offering of Letters" 
campaign will help members of U.S. 
churches and community groups write 
letters to their U.S. congresspeople in 
support of "The Child Immunization 
Act of 1986." This legislation, intro- 
duced in Congress late last year, would 
provide $50 million in U.S. funds for 
worldwide child immunization 

President Raul Alfonsin has submit- 
ted to Argentina's Congress a proposal 
that would for the first time create an 
alternative service program for that 
nation's conscientious objectors. The 
legislation would provide for work in 
social institutions in place of the oblig- 
atory military service. The major 
newspaper La Razon identified the 
Mennonites as the oldest peace church 
in the nation. The Argentine Menno- 
nite Church, organized in 1923, has a 
current membership of 1,516, with 28 
regular places of worship. 

CMM focuses on future of Bible school education 

Carman, Man. (GCMQ-1985 was a 
year of contrasts and changes for the 
Conference of Mennonites in Manitoba 
(CMM). Delegates at the 39th annual 
sessions held Feb. 21-22 at the Car- 
man Community Hall heard about a 
sharp decrease in enrollment at Elim 
Bible Institute, 20 new pastors who 
were installed or ordained in CMM 
churches, a budget not quite met and 
a proposal for a director of evangelism 
and church growth. In addition to 
making critical decisions about the 
future of Elim, delegates accepted the 
Thompson United Mennonite Church 
into the CMM membership. 

The weekend theme, "That they may 
all be one," did not deter delegates 
from expressing varied opinions re- 
garding the current crisis at Elim 
Bible Institute, which saw a sharp 
drop in enrollment in 1985 (from 40 to 
15 students). Discussion centered on 


A children's project 
for new jobs in Bangladesh 

Colorful stickers, stories, games and 
activities help children learn more about 
Bangladesh and raise funds for Mennonite 
Central Committee's Bangladesh Job 
Creation Program Recommended for 
Sunday schools, church schools and family 

In U.S. contact: In Canada contact: 

Resource Library MCC Canada 

21 S. 12th St. 201-1483 Pembina Hwy. 

Box M Winnipeg, MB R3T 2C8 

Akron, PA 17501 (204) 475-3550 

(717) 859-1151 

or your nearest MCC office 

the proposals by the Elim board to cut 
back staff and implement a modified 
two-year program cycle, as well as 
asking the delegate body to keep the 
school open for three more years to 
implement these changes and build 
constituency confidence. Floor discus- 
sion represented various opinions, 
including several eloquent appeals for 
developing Elim in creative ways 
through cooperation with other 
schools, a retreat/resource center or a 
Christian trade school. Midway 
through the discussion, Walter Franz, 
Altona, suggested an alternative reso- 
lution that called for greater flexibility 
and freedom in pursuing new options 
within a three-year mandate. After 
more discussion and informal affirma- 
tion by the Elim board, the new resolu- 
tion was approved by 88 percent of the 

Delegates accepted program expan- 
sion for the missions and evangelism 
committee, which proposed that CMM 
create a new position of director of 
evangelism and church growth in re- 
sponse to needs identified by a recent 
study. Affirmation was given to the 
work of the educational resources com- 
mittee, which includes youth and 
young adult ministries, and to that of 
Faith and Life Communications, which 
produces English and German devo- 
tional radio programs. The committee 
on camping ministries introduced its 
new executive director, Monica Wiebe, 
who described herself as a "product of 
Manitoba camps," having been in- 
volved as a camper and a staff person 
for 20 years. Wiebe raised the problem 
of payment for summer camp staff, 
citing inequities between staff who do 
the same work but get paid at various 
rates by their respective churches. A 
resolution dealing with possible solu- 
tions was defeated. 

Bernie Wiebe, Ken Heppnes and 

Frank J. Neufeld were re-elected mod- 
erator, secretary, and personnel chair- 
person, respectively, and J. K. Klassen 
was elected vice moderator. 

A budget of $601,500 in congrega- 
tional receipts was accepted for 1986, a 
significant increase over 1985, which 
saw only 93 percent of congregational 
donations received. The total budget 
for 1986, including self-generating 
funds, was set at $1,234,600, an in- 
crease of 4.8 percent over 1985. 

In addition to reports, meditations 
and kingdom reports on various as- 
pects of conference and congregational 
life, delegates and guests also heard 
from Carol Suter, director of develop- 
ment for the General Conference. She 
reported on her 1985 listening tour 
that took her across the General Con- 
ference, and raised several key issues 
that resulted. Most delegates and 
guests agreed with her evaluation that 
conferences and church agencies need 
to improve communications, and they 
encouraged the General Conference to 
do more high profile communication. 
However, it seemed that the attempt of 
the General Conference to do so with 
its new quarterly information publica- 
tion, In Touch, to be sent to every 
General Conference home, was not 
reaching Manitobans. A quick survey 
of those present revealed that over half 
had not received the fall issue. Brenda 

Housekeeper wanted 

Housekeeper— light maintenance, 

year-round voluntary service position. 

For more information contact: 
Curt Bechler 
Camp Friedenswald 
15406 Watercress Drive 
Cassopolis, Ml 49031 
(616) 476-2426. 


Illinois Mennonite farmers (GC and 

MC), their families, pastors and inter- 
ested people gathered at Roanoke (111.) 
Mennonite Church Jan. 18. Resource 
person Robert Hartzler spoke on the 
theme "How Should a Congregation 
Be Involved in the Farm Issues?" One 
participant summed up the way some 
churches respond to the farmer: "The 
only time the church listens to the 
farmer is when the budget is hurting." 

Sisters & Brothers took over opera- 
tion of the Mennonite Church's media 
library Jan. 1, moving the film and 
video resources to their new Goshen, 
Ind., location. The library includes 
more than 500 visual productions for 
use in churches, homes and other edu- 
cational and fellowship settings. Sis- 
ters & Brothers is an independent 
Mennonite filmmaking group which 
seeks to produce films and videos 
which examine the human condition 
through the eyes of Christian faith. To 
order resources contact Sisters & 
Brothers Film and Video, 125 E. Lin- 
coln, Goshen, IN 46526, (219) 533- 

Congress '88 ... A National Festival 
of Evangelism, will take place in the 
summer of 1988 with the theme "That 
the World May Believe," it was an- 
nounced in Washington by a spokes- 
person from the Washington Round- 
table on Evangelism. Projected goals for 
the congress were presented for discus- 
sion by David Shenk of the Mennonite 
Church and three others. These in- 
clude celebrating Jesus Christ as Sav- 
ior and Sovereign, challenging 
churches to respond to society's needs, 
uniting in reaching 100 million un- 
churched people in the nation and 
providing motivation and instruction 
for churches to evangelize. 

Alberta delegates debate future of SCBI, Camp Valaqua 

Taber, Alta.— Delegates wrestled with 
the fate of Swift Current (Sask.) Bible 
Institute at the annual Conference of 
Mennonites in Alberta (CMA) sessions 
here March 7-8. More than 130 people 

SCBI, owned jointly by the Confer- 
ence of Mennonites of Saskatchewan 
(CMS) and by CMA, has a recently 
built facility that can handle more 
than 80 students, but the current en- 
rollment is only 42. With a 1985 defi- 
cit of $24,878, the school's financial 
viability requires greatly increased 
enrollment or moving to a smaller 
facility. SCBI business manager Rick 
Janzen said that the school needs 65 
students in order to break even. CMA 
is responsible for 30 percent of the 
financial support, CMS 70 percent. 

But finances were not the only issue. 
Outgoing principal David Ortis called 
SCBI "a patient in need of a diagnosis 
and a cure." And, he admitted, the 
cure may be its death. "Mennonite 
institutions have been too unwilling to 
die when they need to," he said. He 
called upon the churches to take lead- 
ership in providing that diagnosis and 
cure. But he hasn't been too encour- 
aged. Last fall, Ortis said, he sent a 
letter to 60 congregations asking for 
prospective students. Only two 

The delegates made a variety of re- 
sponses. Kathy Peters, Didsbury, said, 
"The problems at SCBI are the same 
as the ones in our homes and 
churches." She then called for fasting 
and prayer. 

One of the problems several referred 
to was the lack of discipline at the 
school. One man who spoke emotion- 
ally for greater discipline was followed 
by a man who spoke emotionally for 
greater patience. 

Toward the end of the discussion a 
man said that the main issue is that 

Discussion held during a break 

the "spiritual" conservatives are with- 
drawing their support while the "stag- 
nant . . . status quo" liberals are 
holding onto the school. Chairman 
Henry Goerzen, Carstairs, and host 
pastor Elwin Epp differed strongly, 
saying they were not liberals, and they 
supported the school. 

In the end, delegates voted to allow 
the executives of the two conferences 
plus the study committee that had 
conducted an evaluation of SCBI to 
meet and decide how best to proceed. 

A similar discussion was held about 
Camp Valaqua. Although the camp did 
not meet its 1985 budget, a 3 percent 
increase was passed. 

Camp director Eric Froese reported 
that children seem increasingly inse- 
cure, that many are afraid their par- 
ents) will leave them or will die. 

Rudy Janzen asked why more 
campers are not returning to camp. 
Bill Wiebe called upon churches to 
take more initiative in getting their 
children to camp. One father objected 
to the lack of supervision at camp, and 
another said more spiritual input was 

In a related action, delegates voted 
to place youth work among the duties 
of the camp director. David Braun's 
position of conference pastor will then 
become full time. He has handled 
youth work part time. 

The conference theme, "Called to 

Faithful Living," was addressed in 
three talks. David Braun presented a 
"Challenge to the Conference." Jacob 
Wiebe, pastor at First Mennonite 
Church, Calgary, spoke on the calls of 
the family and the fellowship to faith- 
ful living. 
In other business: 

• a proposal by the education com- 
mittee "that for 1987 the subsidy for 
the conference papers become a direct 
responsibility of the local congrega- 
tion" was defeated; 

• a motion that the conference pro- 
ceed with a building plan in 1988 for 
the camp director's residence was 
amended to require 80 percent of the 
votes but only received 74 percent; 

• delegates agreed to accept David 
Braun's "Guidelines for the Calling 
and Ordination of Ministers" and to 
pay the mileage for pulpit exchange; 

• a budget of $284,803 was accepted; 

• a proposed 5 percent salary in- 
crease for David Braun was turned 
down; and 

• delegates voted to seek more inter- 
Mennonite cooperation. Gordon Houser 

Service coordinator needed 

Service coordinator needed for Mennonite 
Community Closet Outreach Program at 

North Battleford, Sask. Position opens July 1 
and is for a 2- to 3-year term. The major 
objective of the outreach program is to provide 
Christian counsel and support to needy people 
who come in contact with the Closet. Training 
in social work and experience working with 
people of Native ancestry an asset. Position 
ideal for a married couple, as one partner could 
work part time in the Closet Store. Honorarium 
DOE. and financial requirements. 

Send resume to: 

Mennonite Community Closet 
1022 101st St. 

North Battleford, SK S9A 0Z3. 


MARCH 25, 1986 

Editor position open 

General Conference Mennonite Church is 

accepting applications for the position of editor 
of The Mennonite, open Sept. 1 in Newton, 

Applicants with writing and editing skills, 
some theological training and familiarity with 
the General Conference should submit a 
resume by May 1 to: 

General Secretary 
Box 347 

Newton, KS 67114. 

2 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 
Home of The 1986 World Exposition 
May 2 -October 13, 1986 

Coming to Vancouver for 

EXPO '86? 
Why not plan to include an 
extraordinary week of camp for your 
child at 
You'll never be sorry! 

For complete details write to: 

Camp Squeah 
Route 3 
Hope, BC 
SQUEAH— "A Place of Refuge' 

Decent housing 
Help make it a reality for everyone. 

MVS needs 10 people to do minor or major 
home repair work. Qualifications are flexible. 

PEOPLE willing to serve this world in re- 
sponse to Christ's call are needed for these 
and many other North American assign- 

VOLUNTEERS live together, receive room 
and board, health insurance and a small 
personal monthly allowance. 

MVS BELIEVES in following Jesus through 
a lifestyle of service, simplicity, social con- 
cern and non-violence. 


722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 
(316) 283-5100 

Position open 

Church custodian (couple preferred) 

One-bedroom apartment, utilities, phone and 
part-time salary of $400-$500 per month for a 
live-in custodian to take care of church building 
and grounds and the community center at First 
Mennonite Church, 430 W. Ninth Ave., Denver, 
CO 80204. 

Contact pastor Walter Friesen, (303) 892-1038. 
Position open April 1 . 

Position in music 

Canadian Mennonite Bible College invites 
applications for a junior position in music. The 
major focus of this position will be in children's 
music (possibly forming a model children's 
choir), youth music and directing the CMBC 
Ensemble (a choral group which does 
considerable congregational visitation). 
Auxiliary areas could be accompanying, music 
theory, music therapy, private instruction, basic 
conducting or drama and fine arts. A master's 
degree is preferred, but not essential. A less 
than full-time appointment might be possible. 
Applicants should be committed to the 
Christian faith and in sympathy with the goals 
of the college. 

Send applications and resumes by March 31 to: 
Academic Dean 

Canadian Mennonite Bible College 
600 Shaftesbury Blvd. 
Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4. 


lou care about world peace . . . about people . . . 

lou care about world peace . . . about people . . . 
about the environment. And you can choose 
investments to match those concerns. 

Pax World Fund works to contribute to world 
peace. It invests in: 

• non-war-related industries 

• companies exercising pollution control 

• firms with fair employment practices 

• international development 

Pax World is a no-load, diversified mutual fund 
now available through Mennonite Mutual Aid. 
The fund is designed for those who wish to earn 
income and to invest in life-supporting products 
and services. Minimum investment: $250. 

For more information, call or write: 
Mennonite Mutual Aid 

800-348-7468, toll-free 

or (219) 533-9511 collect in Indiana 

Post Office Box 483 
Goshen, IN 46526 

This is not a solicitation in those states where the securities have not been qualified. 


Position in business 

Ph.D. and experience in business. Teaching in 
Computer Information Systems, Finance, 
Beginning Accounting and Quantitative 
Methods. Begin fall 1986 or fall 1987. Minorities 
are encouraged to apply. 

Send resume to: 

Lee F. Snyder, academic dean 
Eastern Mennonite College 
Harrisonburg, VA 22801. 

Job openings 

Director, skill trainer and direct-care staff are 
needed at Oregon Mennonite Residential 
Services, Inc., (group homes for 
developmental^ disabled adults). 

Send inquiries to: 
Jane Toews 
Teaching Research 
345 Monmouth Ave. 
Monmouth, OR 97361 
(503) 838-1220, ext. 401. 

The Welcome Inn 

Community Centre and Church, 
Hamilton, Ont., 
invites you to their 
20th anniversary celebration. 

May 24 

10 a.m.-1 p.m. — VS reunion brunch 

2-8 p.m.— Open house and barbecue 
for everyone. Please join us 
for an afternoon of fun and 

May 25 

10:30 a.m.— Worship service of 

thanksgiving — joint service 
with Hamilton Mennonite at 
Bennetto Auditorium. 

12:30 p.m. — Potluck dinner at Welcome 

All friends of Welcome Inn 
are invited to come for the weekend. 

Residential managers wanted 

Openings available immediately for single or 
married adults with experience in caring for the 
disabled or with parenting skills. A three-year 
commitment preferable but can negotiate. 

Mennoheim provides non-nursing respite care 
for up to three developmentally disabled 
children or adults. Residents stay from a few 
hours up to two weeks. 

Salary commensurate with experience and 
length of commitment. Room, board, health 
insurance and alternate apartment are benefits. 

For further information contact: 
Don Kauffman 

Mennonite Disabilities Committee 
1712 W. Clinton 
Goshen, IN 46526 
(219) 533-9720. 

Commission On Education 
Faith and Life Bookstores 

are operated by the Commission on Education as a channel to 
promote Christian and general literature that helps persons grow in 
their relationship with God and their understanding of themselves, 
the world and the ongoing mission and purpose of the church. 
Faith and Life Bookstores have the unique opportunity to handle 
material which interprets life in the Anabaptist tradition. 

Faith and Life Bookstores serve the General Conference and the 
community in which each is located. Each is a full-service bookstore 
specializing in Christian books and Bibles. Other materials which aid 
Christian and congregational life are available, such as educational 
materials, VBS material, hymnals, music, records/tapes/CD's, office 
supplies*, gifts, greeting cards, etc. 

Faith and Life Bookstores are prepared to take phone or mail orders 
and can ship your order anywhere in the world. The next time you 
need a book, Bible or related item contact the Faith and Life 
Bookstore nearest you. 

159 West Main Street 
Berne, Indiana 46711 
(219) 589-2135 
Larry Dixon, manager 

*0ffice supplies at Berne store only 

724 Main Street 
Newton, Kansas 67114 
(316) 283-2210 
Brent Sprunger, manager 

Your prayer and financial support for the Commission 
on Education are appreciated and necessary to 
continue this and other ministries for the church. 

Meet Brent Sprunger, manager of Faith and Life 
Bookstores, manager of Faith and Life Bookstore, 
Newton, Kansas, and marketing manager for Faith 
and Life Press. 

General 722 Mam Street. Box 347 

Conference Ne<vlon KS 57114-0347 

Mennonite 316-283-5100 

Commission on 


MARCH 25, 1986 

Are we hypocrites? 

When I was in Denver last April for 
Alive '85, people talked about how we 
needed to include peacemaking when 
spreading the gospel. This meant 
peacemaking outside of the church. It's 
good we are moving to non-Mennonite 
areas, but also frustrating to find out 
that many members of the Mennonite 
churches haven't made a commitment 
to peace. 

My family and I attended a Menno- 
nite church recently where this Men- 
nonite doctrine wasn't being taught. 
Another couple, who wanted to join 
that church, had to go to the pastor 
and ask if they could join, even though 
they didn't believe in pacifism. The 
pastor's reply was, "Pacifism is a back- 
burner issue and it doesn't really 

If the pastor takes this position, the 
congregation will also take it. At this 
same church I had to ask more than 
10 people what a pacifist was before I 
could get a definition. When I asked 
what MCC stood for, one reply was, 
"Isn't that a part of the KGB?" 

I know the church has material on 
this subject because I received some 
from MCC. If we have the material 
being sent to the conferences and 
churches, and it's not getting to the 
people, then we have a communication 
problem. It appears some pastors want 
more people in their churches, and 
they are telling the people what they 
want to hear, not what we as Menno- 
nites believe in. 

Before we can go outside the church 
we must get the church in order. This 
must be done with God's love, and it 
must be done now. The church may 
even suffer a drop in membership, but 
whether people stay or go, we'll be 
better off. 

Each person needs to evaluate where 
he or she stands on this issue and 
decide if being a Mennonite is what 
they really want to be. If we have 
Christians become members of our 
church who don't hold this belief, we 
are hypocrites. Dennis K. Masser, 
2 Lexington Court, Easton, PA 18042 

Feb. 11 

What do our roots mean? 

I like what Dan Zehr had to say in his 
"We Believe in the Church" (Jan. 14 
issue), and I have enjoyed the "Founda- 
tions for Our Faith" series. They have 
caused me to do some thinking and 

that thinking has now led to a 

It is commonplace among us Chris- 
tians to compare the church to the 
"Old Israel." However, I have some 
questions about this practice. What 
does it mean for us that God came to 
us in Jewish form? What does it mean 
for us that first-century Jews risked 
their lives to spread that good news to 
the gentiles? What does it mean for us 
to have a Scripture which is full of 
Jewish praise, worship and insight as 
well as God's holy commands? I won- 
der if in our comparisons we some- 
times end up casting aspersions on the 
roots to which we have been grafted 
and which continue to nourish us. In 
the light of the ongoing reality of Is- 
rael and Jewish experience should we 
continue to do so? Bruce Hiebert, If 101 
Louis Riel House, Simon Fraser Uni- 
versity, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6 

Feb. 14 

Another childless couple 

Bravo to the author of "When the Ba- 
bies Don't Come" (Jan. 14 issue). It hit 
so close to home for my husband and 
me that my own parents wondered 
if we had written it. Well, we sure 
could have. I guess what I hope this 
article can do is make people aware of 
the kind of comments they make with- 
out thinking, those "thoughtless com- 
ments on our childlessness." Don't 
force us to make up some quick come- 
back. It hurts enough. One consolation 
is to know that there are many others 
going through this difficulty and that 
God is near and working in us all. 

Also of great help to us in that issue 
was the editorial by Gordon Houser 
entitled "That Lonesome Valley." It 
helped us put things into perspective 
and to realize that "it does me no good 
to compare sufferings." Thanks. 
Another childless couple 

Feb. 17 

Should be more constructive 

The article by Bernie Loeppky, "Mixed 
Models of Church and Leadership" 
(Feb. 11 issue), raises the question of 
whether our current model of pastoral 
ministry has any place within our 
understanding of leadership within 
our congregations. 

It is easy to create idealized versions 
of the past which never existed. In 
fact, the professional pastoral model 
can be understood as a response and 

solution to earlier crises and problems 
in church leadership when those 
models ceased to function effectively. 

The reasonable conclusion from the 
article seems to be that we no longer 
need pastors to lead our congregations. 
Does the author mean to suggest that 
all our pastors now resign and that we 
close our seminary, since it will no 
longer be needed to train people for 
professional pastoral ministry? 

Rather than undermining the minis- 
try which we have and increasing the 
negative self-image of pastors, we need 
to be affirming of the good gifts that 
by God's grace our pastors continue to 
bring to our congregations. I am grate- 
ful that God is continuing to call 
women and men to the new challenges 
and opportunities for ministry within 
our churches. John A. Esau, Director, 
Ministerial Leadership Services, Box 
347, Newton, KS 67114 

Feb. 17 

The shuttle tragedy 

Imprinted on my inner eye— perhaps 
forever— is that serpentine cloud hang- 
ing languidly yet horribly over the 
ocean on Jan. 28. Silver linings have 
been hard to come by. 

If the catastrophe teaches us any- 
thing, though, it may be that the world 
worships the wrong god when it bows 
down at the feet of that peculiarly 
modern idol, scientific technology. 

The brave souls who perished, after 
all, were outward bound to explore the 
creation of One who is sovereign over 
all— even fallible, fallen technology. 
Daniel W. Shenk, 1721 Washington St., 
Cedar Falls, I A 50613 

Feb. 18 

MCC openings 

Mennonite Central Committee in Akron, Pa., 
has immediate employment opportunities for an 
experienced secretary in MCC Peace Section 
and for an administrative assistant in 
Information Services. Also coming up in spring 
and summer are openings for secretaries, 
receptionist and administrative assistants. 

For more information contact: 
MCC Personnel Services 
Box M 

Akron, PA 17501 
(717) 859-1151; 


MCC Canada 

201-1483 Pembina Highway 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2C8 
(204) 475-3550. 


When MKs become adults 

Tobia Vandenberg 

Bamboo trees gracefully bow and 
sweep the sky almost everywhere in 
Southeast Asia. Resilient and flexible, 
they withstand even the most fearful 
tropical storms. Most children of mis- 
sionaries (MKs) are also resilient, 
weathering the sometimes stormy 
adjustments to the United States and 

Bamboo is transformed into many 
things: split-rail fences, chicken coops, 
frames, baskets, toothpicks, chopsticks, 
crafts. Even when exported, these 
things remain essentially bamboo. 
MKs as adults choose a variety of ca- 
reers, and most integrate into North 
American society, yet they retain 
some essence of their multicultural 

As adults, former MKs make deci- 
sions common to other adults: career, 
marriage, family, and faith expres- 
sions. That they have grown up be- 
tween and belonging to two cultures 
produces a greater variety of factors 
to consider in making these life 

International perspectives. In 
browsing through replies to a survey 
sent out to about 25 former Commis- 
sion on Overseas Mission MKs of all 
ages (August 1985), it is interesting to 
see how individual each one is. Even 
so, an essence of having a wider inter- 
national perspective pervades through- 
out. It is expressed in various ways 
and attitudes: seeing beyond "the so- 
cial peer pressures of their present 
situations," finding it easier "to decide 
to live overseas in a new culture/envi- 
ronment than to decide to settle down 
here and buy a house, etc.," warming 
up quickly to foreigners, seeing inter- 
national contacts as gifts. Often there 
is a "higher priority on justice, equal- 
ity, development, service and other 
issues related to a world-based 

Such a perspective, however, is not 
an exclusive domain. Mennonite Cen- 
tral Committee personnel, for example, 
also gain global insights as a result of 
their short-term experiences overseas. 

Careers. The backgrounds and per- 
spectives of these former MKs directly 
and indirectly influence their career 
choices and the people around them. A 
homemaker and mother of two re- 
marks, "I hope that the children will 

be developing a wider worldview than 
the standard shortsighted view of the 
untraveled." Ruth Keidel, assistant 
secretary for MCC Personnel Services, 
enjoys working with people in prepara- 
tion for overseas assignments. Cindy 
Sprunger, who works for the Foreign 
Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of 
Representatives in the area of Asian 
and Pacific Affairs, states, "I feel far 
more sensitive to non-Western cultures 
than many of my professional col- 
leagues and feel strongly that the 
United States must share its wealth 
with the world." 

MKs as adults represent many pro- 
fessions and vocations: writers, doc- 
tors, homemakers, professors, truck 
drivers, teachers, psychologists, 

nurses, musicians, MCC workers and, 
yes, some missionaries. Do former 
MKs return to the familiar? Not al- 
ways. "We have noticed how ethnocen- 
tric we are in spite of our overseas 
experience in the past. As we move 
into a new (and not very open) culture, 
we have to deal with putting away 
some of our cultural ideas and open 
our minds to new ways of thinking." 

Marriage. How does a multicultural 
background affect marriage? Some 
choose to marry those who share the 
same background. "I married a woman 
with a background similar to my own. 
We speak in two languages, we share 
friends from North and South Amer- 
ica. We share literature, music and 
travel to both regions. The potential 
problem is deciding/agreeing on where 
to settle. Our allegiances are both 
many and none." 

"I married another former MK. We 
enjoy sharing experiences and being 
understood by one another. Having 
both experienced living in other cul- 
tures also was helpful in lessening 
culture shock when we came overseas 

Others have married people who, 
although they do not share the same 
background, do share the same atti- 
tudes and values: a general interest in 
international people and affairs, adapt- 

ability, interest in voluntary service, 
love of people. Even so, after marriage 
there is a dynamic two-way growth. 
One woman whose husband was at 
first only remotely interested in her 
"home" country, sees how "the Lord is 
slowly developing in him an interest in 
people outside the United States." 
Another shares, "My husband (de- 
ceased) frequently commented that 
boarding school increased my self- 
sufficiency and independence. I had to, 
and have to, work at being open to 
people close to me." 

Some have found a common bond in 
their Mennonite faith and heritage. In 
addition to that, one couple speaks of 
"a mutual desire to be firstly Chris- 
tian in our expression of faith." 

Families. Family life can be enrich- 
ing and at times bewildering. A family 
now living in the United States writes, 
"Each member of our nuclear family 
was born in a different country. Hus- 
band—United States, wife— India, son- 
Morocco, daughter— Indonesia. Our 
menus reflect this. Our friendships are 
worldwide. Our children are comfort- 
able with internationals and adven- 
turesome with food. It has been great." 
Another mother says she felt close to 
her Japanese neighbor: "Our children 
grew up together." Conservation, fru- 
gality and cooking from "scratch" are 
familiar trademarks of such families 
(and people). Again though, this is not 
their exclusive domain. As one woman 
put it, "I view this attitude (lack of 
seeking after material possessions) as 
one to be cultivated by every believer." 
We in North America have easy access 
to books such as the More with Less 

Two women who were MKs them- 
selves, now missionaries, express con- 
cern in raising their children. Where's 
home? "Interestingly, on our furlough 
now I sensed a homelessness in Can- 
ada. . . . The definition of 'home' I've 
had is not the same as my husband's 
or peers' in Canada. I am trying to 
define my role as a 'homemaker' and 
mother of three children (MKs)." 

It is clear that the MKs need an interdependent network. And that is what 
the church is all about— caring one for another. 


MARCH 25, 1986 


"One drawback with both of us being 
MKs is that we feel a kind of home- 
lessness at times because we don't feel 
close to the hometowns of either of our 
parents. We've spent so little time 
there and have moved frequently. I am 
wondering what my children will expe- 
rience as second-generation MKs. 
Where do they belong?" 

A former MK, now married, re- 
sponds, "It can be difficult . . . but if 
dealt with openly and in the context of 
love and care, I think it is one of the 
best ways to educate and develop peo- 
ple. I would not trade the experience. 
It is important, though, for parents to 
include children in decision making 
and work through adjustments with 

Some missionaries have made it a 
practice to return to the same town or 
city each furlough. This tends to de- 
velop a warm sense of continuity if the 
churches and communities support, 
nurture and embrace these families as 
"one of us." 

"Sometimes I suffer from the pain of 
many good-byes and so in our tran- 
sience become impatient to develop 
close friends," muses one mother, also 
a former MK. 

For some families living in North 
America it is unique to have grandpar- 
ents living in Hong Kong, India, Zaire 
or Colombia. Family reunions become 
poignant times of memory building 
"for the next four years." 

Faith expressions. Adult MKs set- 
tle into a variety of faith expressions 
and church affiliations. Some opt out 
of church. Others go through a process 
of sorting through the various options 
they encounter here in North America 
(see "MKs Reconcile Two Worlds"— 
Dec. 24, 1985, issue). This is a highly 
personal process: for some easy, for 
others lengthy. Some do break in the 
storm. A supportive, caring church 
community in either case is important. 

Just one note: It is not uncommon 
for MKs to have "a feeling of common- 
ality with other denominations." 
There are two possible reasons for this: 
interdenominational schools for mis- 
sionary children where close bonds are 
formed and the cooperation between 
denominations in countries where 
Christians are a small minority. My 
closest friends in high school were two 

Lutheran girls from Scandinavia and a 
Mennonite girl from Canada. 

As with anyone else we need to allow 
these adults to explore and be them- 
selves. There is more to who they are 
than just being "the son or daughter of 
the Friesens, missionaries to 
."A woman with the per- 
spective of age shares, "Only in my 
30s did I feel I finally had my own 

Certainly their experiences and in- 
sights are unique, but these are get- 
ting less unusual as our world shrinks 
to a global village. 

Tobia Vandenberg 1514 10th Ave. N., 
Saskatoon, SK S7K 3A8, grew up in 
Taiwan. She is studying elementary 
education, specializing in Indian and 
Northern education at the University of 


Canticle on 
Maundy Thursday 

Muriel Thiessen Stackley 

I have come to feast, Lord, 
on this miniscule bit of bread 
and droplet of symbol-juice. 

I feast to remember your fast: 

no breakfast in Herod's courtyard, 

nor in Pilate's halls, 

nor at the pillar of beating, 

nor on the cobblestones of pain. 

No breakfast, I remember, 
though the women surely 
offered you bread 
as you staggered by- 
something Jewishly substantial. 

You also turned down the breaking-fast, 


drink that you were offered on the cross. 

This symbol of droplet-juice 
will call to mind 

the drawn dryness of your dying mouth. 
I eat and drink in remembrance of you. 




Ruth Nay lor 

Life was echoing 

like a tomb 
And the voice spoke 

softly warm: 
"If Easter means anything, 

my child, 
It means leaving that 

which feels dead behind 
And walking out 

into newness of life. 
That is the resurrection!" 


Monte J. Zerger 

Chosen from the lion's tribe, he came to warm the night 

Heal a world afflicted and lead it to the light 

Reveal age-old mysteries to those who dare to see 

Inside us all there dwells a Christ just waiting to be freed 

Servant of the multitudes, he drew them all to him 

Teach us, O Lord, to live our lives more like this humble King 

Jesus is risen 

Tobia Vandenberg 

Those strong gentle hands which blessed children 

cooled fevers, restored sight, . . . broke the bread, 
Now are torn, broken, blood caking around the piercing nails. 

That brow, at times wrinkled with concern, raised in 
laughter, calm in prayer, . . . sweating in Gethsemane, 

Now is bowed in pain, blood dripping from thorns 
pushed into his tender skin. 

Those eyes which wept for Lazarus, smiled to the children, 
spoke to those around him . . . turned to Peter as the cock 

Now are full of pain, feeling forsaken, yet noting with 
clarity and love those surrounding him. 

Those feet full of purpose, traveling the dusty roads of 

Galilee, stopping under the sycamore tree . . . 

plodding the way to Calvary, 
Now are fixed together, held to wood, the nail driving pain through. 

Those lips which told parables, welcomed the children, 

criticized the hypocrites . . . said, "Father, forgive them . . ." 
Now utter the curtain-rending cry, "It is finished." 

His followers, saddened, without hope, and filled with fear, 
laid his body away . . . 
"But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, 
they came to the tomb . . . two men in dazzling 
apparel . . . said to them, 'He has risen!' " 

Now, He is alive . . . the living One, blessing the children, 
restoring wholeness . . . and through his death for us, 
He lives in us! 


Is war a modern Moriah? 

"Then God said, 'Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom 
you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him 
there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will 
tell you about' " (Genesis 22:2). 

In 1952 I stood in front of a temple in central India 
where, I was told, it had been common until just a few 
years before to perform human sacrifice. It was the duty of 
a certain man to go to some poor family in the kingdom 
and buy a child who would be taken away in the middle of 
the night. I am at a loss to describe the emotion I felt as I 
stood before that little god sitting on his red velvet throne. 

How was it that Abraham was prepared to carry out the 
command? What parent who today hearing a voice telling 
you to sacrifice your child, would consider it to be the voice 
of God? Could it have been that, in the society of that day, 
if you wanted to show your highest devotion to God, you 
would be willing to sacrifice your children? 

Human sacrifice continued among the Israelites for many 
centuries. In Leviticus 18 and 20 the command was given 
to stone the man who passes his children through the fire 
of Molech. Yet in 1 Kings we read about Solomon, because 
of his wives, building a high place to Molech. Later Micah 
challenged the idea of giving the fruit of one's body for the 
sin of one's soul. Jeremiah condemned it. Not until the 
Israelites were led captive to Babylon was the practice 

Today we are not aware of any place where human sacri- 
fice is practiced with the exception of one— the field of bat- 
tle. The average age of the U.S. soldier in Vietnam was 19. 

For most of the people in our society it is considered the 
highest devotion to God (and country) to be willing to give 
your life or the life of your child in war. 

During World War I Wilfred Owen wrote The Parable of 
the Old Man and the Young: 

"So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went, 

And took the fire with him, and a knife. 

And as they sojourned both of them together 

Isaac the firstborn, spake and said, My Father, 

Behold the preparations, fire and iron, 

But where the lamb for this burnt offering? 

Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps, 

And builded parapets and trenches there, 

And stretched for the the knife to slay his son. 

When lo! an angel called him out of heaven, 

Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, 

Neither do anything to him. Behold, 

A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns; 

Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him. 

But the old man would not so, but slew his son, 

And half the seed of Europe, one by one." 

During World War I, on one particular assault, 60,000 
men lost their lives in one day. 

Willard Unruh 


Five years ago Oral Roberts, the TV preacher from Tulsa, Okla., 
reported this vision of Jesus: "When I opened my eyes, there he 
stood . . . some 900 feet tall, looking at me." That would be over 
half the height of the Empire State Building. 

How high a Jesus did Pilate see standing before him on that first 
Good Friday? What happened to Pilate? 

How big is Jesus in your life? 

Our prayer is that this issue may help you look at Jesus, realize 
his meaning a little more fully in your life and feel the hope that 
comes through his life, death and resurrection. 

Pontius Pilate and us . . . one way or the other 122 

Grieving our way into hope 124 

Jesus 124 

Dollars and retirement security 126 

The Lord is like an enemy (Lamentations 2) 127 

My Easter came a little late 128 

Good Friday revisited 129 

News 1 30 

Council of Commissions report 130 

Manitoba conference report 135 

Alberta conference report 136 

Letters I 39 

When MKs become adults 140 

Canticle on Maundy Thursday 142 

Good Friday counsel I 42 

Christ 142 

Jesus is risen I 42 

Is war a modern Moriah? 143 

Their blood cries out I 44 


Kenneth L. Gibble, 6017 N. 6th St., Arlington, VA 22203, is the 
author of several books, co-pastor of the Arlington Church of the 
Brethren and frequent writer for Christian periodicals. 

Joyce Shutt, Route 1, Box 11, Orrtanna, PA 17353, is pastor of 
the Fairfield Mennonite Church. 

Menno Wiebe, 201-1483 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg, MB R3T 
2C8, is the director of Native Concerns for MCC Canada. 

Special Easter poetry is by Muriel Thiessen Stackley, Box 347, 
Newton, KS 67114; Ruth Naylor, 123 Villanova Drive, Bluffton, OH 
45817; Monte J. Zerger, 1910 University, Wichita, KS 67213; and 
Tobia Vandenberg, 1514 10th Ave. N., Saskatoon, SK S7K 3A8. 

The meditation is by Willard Unruh, Box 26, North Newton, KS 

Cover, 122, 123, Laura Sportack, 2259 Burquitlam Drive, Vancou- 
ver, BC V5P 2P3; 124, 142, John Hiebert; 126, 127, 129, RNS; 
128, Paul M. Schrock, Box 200, Scottdale, PA 15683; 130, Joel 
Kauffmann; 131-133, MurielT. Stackley, Gordon Houser; 136, Gor- 
don Houser; 141 , Esther Kreider Eash, 7516 E. Bayard Park Drive, 
Evansville, IN 47715. 


Editor: Bernie Wiebe 
600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4 / (204) 888-6781 

Assistant editor: Gordon Houser 
722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 / (316) 283-5100 
Editorial assistant: Sharon Sommer 
Art director: John Hiebert 
The Mennonite is a member of the Associated Church Press, 
Evangelical Press Association and Meetinghouse (a Mennonite 
and Brethren in Christ editors' group). It is an associate member of 
the Canadian Church Press. 

Business manager: Dietrich Rempel. Circulation secretary: Marilyn Kauf- 
man. Special editions editors: Central District, Evelyn Krehbiel, 229 Brook- 
wood, Bluffton, OH 45817; Pacific District, Carol Peterson, Box 338, Upland, 
CA 91785; Western District, Debbie Huxman, Box 306, North Newton, KS 
67117; Window to Mission, Lois Deckert, 122 W. Dayton Yellow Springs 
Road, Apt. #4, Fairborn, OH 45324; and Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, Richard A. Kauffman, 3003 Benham Ave. Elkhart, IN 46517. 




Their blood cries out 

After Cain unjustly killed his brother Abel, he was 
unable to escape the consequences. He heard the 
Lord say, "The voice of your brother's blood is crying 
to me from the ground. . ." (Genesis 4:11a). 

When Pilate faced the innocent Jesus, he felt that 
haunting quality when innocent blood is shed. With 
a ceremonial hand-washing he said, "I am innocent 
of this man's blood. . ." (Matthew 27:24). 

Unfortunately the aroused religious leaders with 
their rebel crowd were too intoxicated with their per- 
sonal ego trips to acknowledge what they knew about 
innocent blood. So they foolishly said to Pilate, "His 
blood be on us and on our children" (Matthew 27:25). 
That innocent blood has cried from the hill of the 
skull ever since. 

Oscar Romero became archbishop of San Salvador 
on Feb. 22, 1977, because he was considered a "safe" 
choice. Three years later, on March 24, 1980, he was 
gunned down while saying Mass in a hospital chapel. 
The last words he spoke were, "This is my body 
which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of 
my blood . . . shed for you." 

The blood of Archbishop Oscar Romero still rever- 
berates throughout Latin America, and its cry echoes 
around the world. Educated in Rome and known for 
loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church when he was 
appointed, Oscar Romero's homilies (sermons) show a 
remarkable global spiritual vision. 

Oscar Romero demonstrated an unconditional trust 
in Jesus Christ. In the midst of the oppression and 
corruption in Latin America, he called for hope: "The 
more full of troubles and problems we are, the more 
bewildering life's ways, the more we must look up to 
the skies and hear the good news: 'A savior is born to 

To the powerless he spoke of courage: "Let us not be 
disheartened as though human realities made impos- 
sible the accomplishment of God's plan." 

Amidst profound agony he pointed to resurrection: 
"Those who have disappeared will reappear. . . . Af- 
fliction . . . will become Easter joy if we join ourselves 
to Christ. . . ." 

As violence grew, he preached the Beatitudes: 
"There are people who opt for guerrilla war, for revo- 
lution. . . . The church's option is for the Beatitudes. 

. . . Christ was sowing a moral revolution in which we 
human beings come to change ourselves from worldly 

When hatred was rampant, Romero proclaimed 
love: "I wish to show that the nucleus of my life is to 
witness the love of God to humans and of humans 
among themselves. ... I have tried to follow the su- 
preme shepherd, Jesus Christ, who directed his love 
to all." In all he claimed: "I simply want to be the 
builder of a great affirmation, the affirmation of God, 
who loves us and who wants to save us" (Brockman, 
The Church Is All of You, foreword). 

The blood of Abel, of Jesus, of all the martyred 
saints, cries with Romero, "Some want to keep a gos- 
pel so disembodied that it doesn't get involved at all 
in the world it must save. Christ is now in history. 
Christ is in the womb of the people. Christ is now 
bringing about the new heavens and the new earth" 

After a particularly violent week in San Salvador 
in March 1980, Romero said, "The church . . . cannot 
keep quiet before such abhorrent action." He spoke to 
government leaders: "In the name of God, and in the 
name of this suffering people whose cries rise up to 
the heavens every day in greater tumult, I implore 
you, I beg you, I order you, in the name of God: Cease 
the repression!" 

To the soldiers he said, "Brothers and sisters, you 
are our own people; you kill your fellow peasants. 
Someone's order to kill should not prevail; rather, 
what ought to prevail is the law of God that says, 'Do 
not kill.' No soldier is obliged to obey an order 
against the law of God; no one has to fulfill an im- 
moral law." 

He ended with these words to the people: "The 
church preaches your liberation just as we have stud- 
ied it in the holy Bible today. It is a liberation that 
has, above all else, respect for the dignity of the per- 
son, hope for humanity's common good and the tran- 
scendency that looks before all to God and only from 
God derives its hope and its strength." 

The next evening he was murdered. 

This Easter season let us listen as their blood cries 
out to us. We are a people of resurrection— hope and 
new life— for all the world. Bernie Wiebe 



101:07 APRIL 8, 1986 

f&F APR »0 


Inside this COE issue: 
Parenting in the faith family 
Love and discipline your children 
Challenges to Abou's Jesus 

People long for a 
wanting to be 
touched, cared for, 
and affirmed. 
Dialogue '85 

Parenting in the 

faith fam 

Myrna and Randy Krehbiel 

Some months ago a friend gave us a 
special gift. She stayed with our sons 
(then ages 8 and 10) on late notice 
when we both needed to attend an 
unexpected meeting. 

As a museum employee, she planned 
a work project for our boys— moving a 
loom. She gave them a tour, explained 
expansion plans and showed exhibits 
to them. When we left, our sons were 
already enthusiastically moving the 
loom. When we returned, they were 
asking her questions about the mu- 
seum exhibits and excitedly urging us 
to stay awhile to see what they had 

Simple enough, eh? Not really. Our 
friend showed our sons that someone 
from their faith family (congregation) 
cared. They had been given meaning- 
ful work. Someone listened to them 
and taught them. 

This friend and her husband have 
invited our sons to go to ball games 
with them. On Sunday mornings after 
church this couple frequently spends 
time talking to our children and the 
many children of the church. Rather 
than simply passing interest, they 
choose to make time to parent the 
church's children. 

Looking for a quick fix. In explor- 
ing trends in General Conference Men- 
nonite churches, Carol Suter found 
general concern about what is happen- 
ing to our home families and faith 
families. In addition to financial con- 
cerns, "people seemed to predict in- 
creased family disintegration and ten- 
sion . . . divorce (including church 
leaders), more single-parent families, 
. . . parent/child tension . . . drug and 
alcohol (abuse)." Do these concerns 
have a factual base? Who should be 
addressing these needs of congrega- 
tions and families? 

Can we celebrate the strengths in 
our home families and faith families? 
Is the story of our caring friend an 
isolated one? 

In a society sometimes obsessed with 
individual happiness, we have often 
ignored difficult situations and sold 
out to an "expert" model to address 
human needs and suffering, even of 
close neighbors. Leaving it to experts 
allows us to be aloof and free of heavy 
demands on our time. Suter's re- 
sponses show that we are victims of 
the "expert" myth. Requests for fix-it 
and prevention programs for families 
abound: "programs for parenting, mar- 
riage enrichment, premarriage, family 

conflict, aging family members, alco- 
holism and family violence." 

Faith family. These responses also 
show we haven't forgotten the teaching 
and healing power of our faith commu- 
nities. "Our members look to the 
church to provide the sense of commu- 
nity, humanity and compassion that 
will be needed even more in the fu- 
ture." Suter and Vera Preheim, in 
their meetings with congregations 
across the General Conference, de- 
scribe a kind of wall-to-wall loneliness 
in many of our congregations. They 

heard a longing for connectedness 
among our people, wanting to be 
touched, cared for, noticed and 

If our people are lonely and sepa- 
rated, too busy and overcommitted, 
and worried about the family ills of 
society creeping into their own fami- 
lies and faith families, will it be 
enough to find some expert or some 
program to fix it or prevent it? 

John Westerhoff III, a Christian edu- 
cator, says that even though the mem- 
bers of our families may all be Chris- 


During 1985 a project, Dialogue '85, was carried out in the General 
Conference Mennonite Church. Under the direction of Vern Preheim, 
general secretary, and Carol Suter, director of development, "listening" 
meetings were held with representatives from all areas of the confer- 
ence. At the end of each session, participants were given a chance to 
fill out a questionnaire. These were tabulated and analyzed 

Those who filled out these forms gave high priority to more help in 
local family life ministries. They suggested that General Conference 
staff should focus more on such needs (second only to affirmation for 
overseas mission leadership). These results are referred to in the Kreh- 
biel article. 

tians, that isn't good enough. "For any 
family to be Christian it must share 
its life together in a community of 
Christian faith. . . . The key to Chris- 
tian life is life in the church under- 
stood as faith family." 

Great Commission. Rather than 
mourning the ills of families or talking 
over what the family used to do, Den- 
nis Guernsey, professor of marriage 
and family at Fuller Theological Semi- 
nary, says, "Congregations must view 
building family strengths as funda- 
mental to the Great Commission (Mat- 
thew 28). Families make or break 
disciples. They are the baptizers who 
bring people to faith and help these 
new believers feel at home in the faith 
community. Such families build in the 
values that Christ charges us to teach 
into their daily living. He suggests a 
link between the home family and its 
faith family "in such a way as to effec- 
tively fulfill its own [the church's] 
purpose for being, the fulfillment of 
the Great Commission." 

Responses to Carol Suter's survey 
show that people want more family 
programming that goes along with 
evangelism and church planting and 
equips our congregations to do out- 
reach. So it seems we already under- 
stand that the call to nurture each 
other in the church is also the way we 
witness to and serve others. But our 
concerns show that we think we should 
be doing more witnessing and nurtur- 
ing or doing it better. What are the 
implications for our churches? For 
your church? 

Church families. Jesus, in Mark 
3:7-35, says his brothers and sisters 
are those who do the will of God. Ken- 
neth L. Gibble, a Church of the Breth- 
ren pastor, says, "Christians need to 

bring family life down from the pedes- 
tal. They need to bring it down to 
where God intended it to be." Gibble 
boils down family life to commitment, 
full and honest relationships, admitting 
our failures and asking God to help us 
keep our promises to each other. 

That tall order will likely not be 
filled if we continue to read only from 
a menu of busy separateness, striving 
for the freedom of an a la carte choice. 
It is likely not attainable if we sepa- 
rate our faith families along blood- 
lines—dividing into new Mennonites 
and those with centuries of Mennonite 

Hope for the future. Can we be a 
faith family? Can we "look not only to 
our own interests but also to the inter- 
ests of others . . . having the mind of 
Jesus" (Philippians 2:4, 5)? There is 
hope. There are simple, practical ways 
to begin. 

1. Make time for each other. Evaluate 
your schedule. Plan time to be to- 
gether in your families and faith fami- 
lies to listen, have fun, worship, pray 
and study. 

2. Pray together and in solitude. 
Prayer is the language of the Chris- 
tian community, its very being 
(Nouwen, Reaching Out). Try more 
inclusive forms of prayer, not only in 
language but in practice. Encourage 
and listen to the prayers of children, 
youth, older people and women. 

3. Reach out. Remember, telephones 
aren't as close as we can get. Find 
ways to regularly serve and minister 
directly to those in need. Take your 
Sunday school classes (of all ages) reg- 
ularly to homes for the aged, mentally 
ill and developmentally delayed. 

4. Reach out again. Don't forget 
those who hurt and need in your own 

faith families. Listen, help, confront, 
pray. Set up a special ongoing task 
force that attends to the healing needs 
in your congregations. We are all heal- 
ers who are also in need of healing. 
Also, teach and model regular conflict 

5. Teach and study together. Appoint 
a family life education committee for 
your congregation to coordinate study 
and discussion together. Don't look for 
simplistic answers based on returning 
to old formulas of power, control and 
discipline. Find scriptural foundation 
for the hand-in-hand work of kingdom 
building and family building. 

6. Transform your organization. 
When the larger business world in- 
creasingly recognizes the need of its 
employees to care and be cared for, to 
touch and be touched, can we do less 
in our church organizations? Don't just 
borrow the sterile, now antiquated 
business model that coldly and arbi- 
trarily uses democratic procedures and 
promotes unnecessary hierarchical 
separation. Bring together what you 
value in being a person and a Chris- 
tian with what you value in being a 
worker or an administrator in your 
church. Make sure the jobs in your 
congregation are rotated frequently. 
Don't let the stereotypes of too young, 
too old, sexism and ethnic heritage 
prevent your faith family from enjoy- 
ing the skills and talents of every per- 
son in your congregation. 

Carry the cross together. Con- 
cerned about your congregation, your 
families? With God's help, there's 
much you can do. 

"When the church has ceased to be 
family, it has lost its power to commu- 
nicate itself," says Richard Rohr, a 
leader of a religious community in 
Cincinnati. But when we as faith fami- 
lies find "a new way of relating, a way 
of supporting one another, of speaking 
to one another, of laying down our 
lives together and carrying the cross 
together, then hope is possible. Hope is 
not possible alone. Hope is the act of 
community. Someone has to walk with 
us in the journey of faith to give us 

You too, like our friend, can choose 
to parent all the children of your faith 
family. You can choose to love each 
other by moving beyond simplistic, 
magical answers to family problems. 
You can choose to build on family 
strengths and build God's family. • 


We believe in 
being born again 

(Foundations for our faith— 7) 

Helmut Harder 

The terms "new birth" and "born 
again" are used more than any other 
expressions to speak of the Christian's 
spiritual experience. Usually they 
focus on the initial act of receiving 
forgiveness for sins and becoming a 
Christian. The brief study that follows 
will show that the Bible uses these 
phrases to point not only to this initial 
act of the Christian life but also to 
one's ongoing Christian experience 
and even to the final renewal experi- 
ence: resurrection from death. Refer- 
ences to the new birth are found in 
three places in the New Testament: in 
John 3, in 1 Peter 1 and in several 
places in 1 John. Each of these texts 
makes its own contribution to our 

Born of the Spirit. In John 3 Jesus 
is conversing with Nicodemus, a Jew 
by birth and a law-abiding Pharisee by 
religious conviction. Jesus tells him he 
must be "born again" (v. 3), that he 
must be "born of the Spirit" (v. 8). 
Here the new birth or the second birth 
is set over against two inter-related 
first births: natural birth into the Jew- 
ish family and religious birth into the 
way of the law. Jesus says to Nicode- 
mus that neither of these gives en- 
trance into Jesus' way. By natural 
birth one enters into a family heritage 
but not into the kingdom of God. By 
Jewish religious birth one enters into 
the way of the law and legalism but 
not into the life of the Spirit. In order 
to possess life in Christ a new birth is 
required, even for a religious adult 
such as Nicodemus. 

New birth, as in Jesus' conversation 
with Nicodemus, speaks to us in sev- 
eral ways. First, we must not rely 
upon natural heritage and family con- 
nections for our identification as be- 
lievers in Christ. Regardless of how 
dedicated our parents might have been 
to Christ, our faith cannot simply be 
an extension of theirs. Our natural 
family connections do not suffice for 

making us Christian. It is necessary to 
be "born again." 

Second, as Christian believers we 
sometimes become quite zealous. We 
find ourselves clinging to a set of regu- 
lations or a set of doctrines. These 
become more important to us than a 
living relationship with God. If and 
when this happens, we are not too 
different from Nicodemus in his rela- 
tionship with God. At such times we 
too need to be born again of the Spirit. 
This requires that we return once 
more to the original beginning we 
made with Christ. This experience of 
rededication and renewal is akin to the 
new birth Jesus was calling Nicode- 

"Truly, truly, I say to you, 
unless one is born anew, he 
cannot see the kingdom of 

John 3:3 RSV 

mus to experience. 

Both of the problems mentioned 
above, the temptation to rely for one's 
salvation upon a strong natural heri- 
tage and the temptation to become all 
too religious in one's Christian zeal 
are familiar to Mennonites. We take 
our family ties seriously, and for the 
most part we take our religious faith 
seriously. While this is mainly a posi- 
tive characteristic, it can also get the 
better of us. We need to emphasize the 
invitation to "be born again" in the 
face of the temptation to rely upon a 
strong Christian family heritage. And 
we need to emphasize the experience 
of adult renewal in the face of the 


APRIL 8, 1986 

"The image of new birth serves as a constant 
reminder that we are children of God." 

temptation to attach ourselves to some 
religious conception of Christian faith 
rather than to a personal embrace of 
Jesus Christ. 

Born of imperishable seed. In 
1 Peter the writer is addressing Chris- 
tians who are suffering for their faith. 
In the face of the threat of death they 
are asking for some words of direction 
and assurance. In the introductory 
paragraphs of the letter the apostle 
calls his readers to fix their hope on 
the resurrection of Christ. The resur- 
rection proclaims that Jesus Christ 
energizes his followers with living 
seed, not with dying seed. Those who 
believe in Christ "have been born 
again, not of perishable seed but of 
imperishable. . ." (1:23). 

Here the new birth is again con- 
trasted with our first birth, but the 
point is that whereas the life that we 
possess by way of our natural birth 
ends in physical death, the life we gain 
by way of our spiritual second birth 
assures us of imperishable eternal life. 
Thus "he has given us new birth into 
a living hope through the resurrection 
of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1:3). In 
1 Peter 1 the new birth links us with 
the resurrection of Christ and in this 
way provides assurance of immortality. 

Sometimes Christians say the new 
birth deserves only a one-time empha- 
sis; that it serves to provide our en- 
trance into Christian faith and life but 
has no continuing function. The refer- 
ences to new birth in 1 Peter suggest 
otherwise. Here the imagery of the 
new birth gains its meaning mainly 
from the resurrection of Christ, and it 
provides a foundation, in that connec- 
tion, with the Christian hope of eter- 
nal life. In fact, our resurrection from 
the dead to eternal life is included in 
the Christian experience of new birth. 

Our resurrection will be our final re- 
newal experience. 

Born to love. In 1 John the imagery 
of birth is applied in still another way. 
The characteristic expression found 
here is not "born again" or "new 
birth" but "born of God." This phrase 
occurs four times (4:7, 5:1, 4, 18), and 
the phrase "born of God's Spirit" oc- 
curs once (3:9). 

Throughout the letter these refer- 
ences to spiritual birth are surrounded 
with ethical references. Those who are 
"born of God" will cease from sinning 
(3:9, 5:18); they will love one another 
(4:7); they will obey God's command- 
ments (5: Iff); they will overcome the 
world (5:4). Here the emphasis is 
clearly upon the walk of discipleship. 

The depiction of believers as "born of 
God" is another way of saying that 
God is our Father (1 John 1:3), that we 
are children of God (5:19) and that we 
are brothers and sisters of one another 
(5:16). Within this family relationship 
we are called to love one another as 
God loves us in Christ. Those who do 
right and love one another are chil- 
dren of God; those who do not do right 
and hate one another are children of 
the devil (see 5:7-10). 

This text conveys the truth that the 
new birth expresses itself as a continu- 
ing dynamic and vital presence in the 
life of the believer. The image of new 
birth serves as a constant reminder 
that we are children of God. This 
awareness affects our relationships 
with believers and with unbelievers. 
The emphasis on 1 John reminds us of 
Menno Simons' characterization of the 
Christian life as "walking in the 

Summary. From this brief study we 
conclude that the spiritual teaching 
concerning new birth has broad appli- 

cation to Christian life. First, the new 
birth stands at the beginning of the 
Christian walk as a conscious and 
accountable step of faith. This step 
includes confessing sinfulness and 
dying to self. Sometimes this is experi- 
enced as a dramatic one-time step. At 
other times such rebirth is gradual. In 
any case the crucial point is that the 
individual makes a commitment to 
depend fully upon Jesus Christ for sal- 
vation and not upon the natural self. 

Second, the new birth points to the 
resurrection. As such it provides the 
foundation for the Christian hope of 
eternal life in the face of suffering and 
death. In this way the affirmation of 
new birth helps us to stand firm and 
to resist fear and discouragement. 

Third, the new birth serves as a con- 
fident reminder that we are born of 
God. As such we are loved as God's 
children and are called in turn to love 
all people. The new birth is a spiritual 
reality that permeates our relationship 
to God and to others with love. 

The new birth is a practical experi- 
ence that supports the Christian pil- 
grimage at every step of the way. It 
provides entrance to the Christian 
faith initially; it characterizes the life 
of discipleship; and it depicts the res- 
urrection experience beyond death. 

Postscript. Some Christians tend to 
neglect the biblical teaching on the 
new birth. They must be encouraged to 
keep this vital theme alive in their 
confession of faith. Other Christians 
tend to focus the new birth too nar- 
rowly, seeing it only in terms of a one- 
time decision. The biblical teaching on 
the new birth includes this dimension 
but also provides a broad and rich 
basis for the entire Christian life. We 
need not divide over this issue if we 
follow the Bible. • 

(ISSN 0025-9330) seeks to witness, teach, motivate and build the Christian fellowship within the context of Christian love and freedom under the guidance of the 

-^,u - , u »ie Holy Spirit. It is published semimonthly by the General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 671 1 4 Subscription rates: one year, 

$1 4 50 U S $1 6 50 Canada; two years, $26 U.S., $29 Canada; three years, $35 U.S., $39 Canada. Foreign subscriptions add 50 cents per year to U.S. rate. Second class postage 
paid at Newton KS, and additional mailing offices. Printed in U.S.A. POSTMASTER: Send Form 3579 to The Mennonite, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 

The Mennonite 

Scriptures and the Holy Sp 


Love and discipline your children 

Paula Diller Lehman 

In our society, family is the primary 
level of community life. Whether it is 
a single-parent family, blended family, 
traditional or extended, we live, func- 
tion and relate within the family unit. 
Our Christianity assumes community 
life. We read in Acts the account of 
believers "who broke bread in their 
homes and ate together with glad and 
sincere hearts, praising God and enjoy- 
ing the favor of all the people." We do 
not read much about the children. We 
do know that entire households were 
saved. We can assume they included 
children. We also do not read a lot of 
specific teachings within God's Word 
about how to include, train, nurture 
children within the family or the 
larger church community. 

If we look to the example set by Je- 
sus, we see him reaching out to chil- 
dren. "Let the little children come 
unto me, and do not hinder them, for 
the kingdom of God belongs to such as 
these" (Matthew 19:13f). Jesus gave 
children respect and self-worth. He 
included them as important people for 
understanding the kingdom of God. To 
Jesus all were equal in worth— includ- 
ing women and children. Jesus 
touched the lives of people in trans- 
forming ways. He healed broken lives. 
He brought new life and new ways of 
relating within the family and the 
believing community. 

How do we become better fami- 
lies? Through love. We show this love 
by caring for and healing each other. 
We forgive one another and become 
reconciled one to another. It is within 
the practical everyday ways of learning 
to love each through caring and re- 
specting each other. If we wish to 
guide our children, we must provide a 
home and church environment that 
resembles the "good news" community. 
We must include our children in our 
worship, prayer, study and gift discern- 
ment. Children are important to the 

My current occupation calls me to be 
with teenagers— your children. I hear 
about and see their struggles and joys 
within the family community. Many 
struggles include family problems such 
as divorce, conflict and lack of family 
unity. I am acutely aware of the na- 
tional statistics of teen suicides, teen 
pregnancies and drug-related prob- 
lems. Our children are not beyond the 
touch of these statistics. 

I have also listened to parents and 
youth workers talk about the disap- 
pointments of young people who are 

not honest with them, of youth who 
seem to be uncaring, apathetic and 

Where is the good news? Obvi- 
ously there is not much said in the 
Bible about adolescence. It did not 
exist in the first century. Adolescence 
is a 19th-century labeling of the years 
when a child works toward adulthood. 
Mary, the mother of Jesus, would to- 
day be a part of our national statistic 
of teen pregnancy. Times are different. 
However, I believe God's Word can 
shed light on this path of concern. 

Deuteronomy 11:18-20 says, "Fix 
those words of mine in your hearts and 
minds; tie them as symbols on your 
hands and bind them on your fore- 
heads. Teach them to your children, 
talking about them when you sit at 
home, when you walk along the road, 
when you lie down and when you get 
up. Write them on the doorframes of 
your houses and on your gates, so that 
your days and the days of your chil- 
dren may be many in the land that 
your Lord swore to give to your fore- 
fathers, as many as the days that the 
heavens are above the earth." We must 
talk to our children. We cannot leave it 
to the television. We must take the 
teachable moments. We must spend 
time with our children. There are no 

Children are learning much from the 
media about life. It often involves sex- 
ual overtones and violence. It creates 
life situations of using people to meet 
one's own needs. Society leaves little 
unsaid or unseen for our children. The 
church, including parents, must help 
youth cope, to not be of this world and 
to somehow make sense of life issues. 

Paul says in Ephesians 6:4, "Fathers 
do not exasperate your children; in- 
stead, bring them up in the training 
and instruction of the Lord." Proverbs 

We must spend time 
with our children. 
There are no 

says that if we love our children we 
will discipline them. In David Elkind's 
book All Grown Up and No Place to 
Go he urges parents to assert parental 
authority, not adult power. I think this 
concurs with the biblical mandate. 
Adults have the experience, knowledge 
and skills to help teach, train and 
guide our children. Too often we mis- 
take adult power for authority. We 
cannot force, push or coerce our chil- 
dren into responsible adulthood. We 
can guide, instruct and discipline them 
on their journey. 

Fear of losing control keeps us using 
power and pressure to get appropriate 
behavior. Instead, let's use persistent 
loving authority to guide, build and 
strengthen. Fear of our own shortcom- 
ings often keeps us from talking to our 

Current research shows young people 
want to talk to their parents about 
issues of concern. It is also evident 
that teenagers value their parents' 
opinions. Are we taking the opportu- 
nity to listen to our teenagers? Are we 
showing them we care about what they 
are doing? Are we including them as 
important members of the family and 
in the life of the church? We are some- 
times much concerned about our young 
people growing up and leaving the 
church. But we are not so concerned as 
to involve them or help them feel 

Jesus calls us to reflect God's love 
and discipline to each other and to our 
children. Our children need us and we, 
as the church, need them. Let us com- 
mit ourselves to this important task of 
reflecting love and discipline to our 

Paula Diller Lehman is the General 
Conference secretary for youth educa- 


APRIL 8, 1986 


The unusual man (Lamentations 3) 

Monty Ledford 

With chapter three we are virtually in 
a different country altogether. Here we 
do not hear of the sufferings of a peo- 
ple but of an individual— a man— and 
not the female Jerusalem or "daughter 
of Zion." What is more, unlike the 
sufferings of Jerusalem, this man's 
sufferings are "without cause" (v. 52). 
He was walking along on the path of 
life when the Lord himself "dragged 
me from the path and mangled me" 
(v. 10). These so intensely personal 
sufferings remind us of the book of Job 
and of many Psalms. The writer places 
this poem, so different in tone, right at 
the center and makes this the longest 
poem in the cycle that makes up Lam- 
entations. It is the centerpiece of the 

There are a number of amazing 
things in this man's experience which 
make some of chapter 3 an oasis in a 
desert of mourning. We hear the words 
"I have hope" (v. 21). Are there any 
words more wonderful than those in a 
life full of tragedy? 

How is it that you have hope? Be- 
cause of the Lord's great love. But is 
that enough? It is if "the Lord is my 
portion." John Calvin on this verse: 
"We cannot stand firm in adversities 
except we be content with God alone 
and his favor." From this satisfaction 
in God come the words of that great 
hymn, based on vv. 22-23, "Great is 
thy faithfulness, O God my Father." 

But what of the rod (v. 1), the wall 
(v. 7), the blocks of stone (v. 9)? "They 
are heavy, but they have become a 
yoke that a man can bear" (v. 27). 

The most amazing thing is yet to 
come. This remarkable man, who has 
broken through to hope through his 
trust in God, does not himself admit to 
any sin calling for the treatment he 
has gotten. Instead, when he asks, 
"Why should any living man complain 
when punished for his sins?" he an- 
swers himself, not by confessing his 
own sins but by appealing to his peo- 
ple to confess theirs (v. 40). 

He identifies with them ("Let us say 
we have sinned"). He attempts to lead 
them in confession, to prime the pump, 
so to speak. It is this deep identifica- 
tion with his suffering people, this 
ability to place himself in their blood- 
stained shoes, that reminds us most of 
Jeremiah, the poet's mentor. It is also 


this that points to a man who lived 
500 years later, who also took his place 
with a sinful people in the waters of 
baptism not for his own sin but to set 
out on the path of identification that 
would lead to rejection by his people 
and death. The writer of Lamentations 
3 experiences the same thing. For all 
his tears of agony (v. 48), it is his peo- 
ple's hatred he receives (v. 14, v. 52). 
And it must be this way, mustn't it? 

God forgives the repentant sinner, 
surely. But what if the sinner, what if 
the entire sinful people refuse to ac- 
knowledge sin? Is there then no hope 
for mercy? If the people are to be for- 
given, someone must stand among the 
sinful people and appeal in their name 
for mercy. The innocent sufferer be- 
comes the voice of the guilty people. 
The return: His people reject him. 

Outside of Isaiah's "Servant Songs" 
I don't believe we have a more poign- 
ant foreshadowing of what Jesus was 
to experience than Lamentations 3. 
Verses 58-66 then bring us up short. 
Perhaps chapter 3 is not an adumbra- 
tion of Christ's sufferings? Perhaps the 
lonely innocent sufferer of chapter 3 
just could not make it up that last hill 
into the New Covenant but finally 

broke down into Old Covenant curses? 
Neither answer will do, for neither 
does justice to the coming of Christ. 

With the coming of Jesus we see 
Lamentations 3 fulfilled in two ways. 
First, Jesus makes an even more ago- 
nizing identification with his sinful 
people— even a substitution. He suffers 
the full measure of God's wrath. His 
even more complete submission to his 
Father's will enables him to pray, "Fa- 
ther, forgive them," where our poet 
prayed, "Pay them back." Yet if we are 
to be faithful to the New Testament we 
must admit that Christ's suffering and 
forgiveness do not exhaust the mes- 
sage of the curses. The curses of chap- 
ter 3 remind us of those most potent 
Psalms, 69 and 109, where curses, the 
apostles tell us, come down in full 
force on the "others" who were "hard- 
ened" in impenitence (Romans 11:7- 
10)— of whom Judas Iscariot is the 
prototype (Acts 1:20). Ultimately either 
Jesus will bear our curse or we will 
bear it. That is the awesome result of 
our choice. Fourth in a series 

Monty Ledford, 11 Dean N.E., Grand 
Rapids, MI 49505, is pastor at North 
Park Mennonite Church. 

rophet Jeremiah" 


Will our faith have children? 

Rosella Wiens Regier 

About 10 years ago John Westerhoff 
III wrote a book, Will Your Children 
Have Faith? In a recent lecture series 
Westerhoff intimated that the question 
in the mid-'80s may be, "Will our faith 
have children?" 

How do children gain a sense of be- 
longing? Do adults consider them part 
of the family of God? What are practi- 
cal ways we can involve children and 
young people in the congregation? 

All of us think about these ques- 
tions. Parents are uncomfortable the 
first time a child raises questions 
about church attendance. We are con- 
cerned when young people make 
choices that do not include parental 
and church values. The church is 
empty and people are lonely without 
families who have children and young 
people. These situations pose a third 
idea: What is our faith without 

There are responses we can make 
individually and as a body of believers. 

1. Tell the stories to the children. 
During one of Moses' long talks with 
the children of Israel on their way to 
the Promised Land he posed a hypo- 
thetical situation. "When your chil- 
dren ask you in time to come, 'What is 
the meaning of the testimonies and 
the statutes and the ordinances which 
the Lord our God has commanded 
you?' then you shall say. . ." (Deuter- 
onomy 6:20). Moses illustrates his 
point by recounting the ways God led 
them as a people. Tell the stories, 

Artist Guy Rowe has done this 
striking presentation of "God Is Our 
Refuge. " It is a reminder to celebrate 
our faith inter generationally. 

he said. Tell your children how God 
has moved and has acted in our lives, 
how he has led us in the past and how 
we experience him now. 

Children become familiar with the 
stories we choose to share as they ex- 
perience them personally with us, as 
they hear them told and as they expect 
them to be a part of their lives. As 
they relate to adults, as they hear the 
stories over and over, they are drawn 
into them with personal responses. 
Faith shared in this way becomes a 
mutual experience. For Parents (Janu- 
ary/February 1986 issue) suggests that 
groups might play a game called "I 
remember when. ..." Invite partici- 
pants to recall a childhood experience, 
a happy time at church last year, a 
favorite Sunday school teacher, a fam- 
ily crisis. By sharing stories we are 
interwoven into the past, present and 

2. Form relationships with chil- 
dren. It is easy to attend worship ser- 
vices, to talk with people of our age 
groups or to relate to the adults in our 
Sunday school classes. It is more diffi- 
cult to foster caring relationships with 
children in the congregation. Adults 
must be intentional about talking with 
children, being interested in their 
lives, including them during worship 
and learning to know at least one child 
on a personal level. All of us, espe- 
cially the children, need the affirma- 
tion of individuals, other than parents, 
to notice, affirm and relate to them. 

We could create experiences where 
small intergenerational groups can 
learn to know each other— grandpar- 
ents in the nursery, men teaching 
children's classes, families singing 
together, inviting someone else's child 
to sit with you during worship, Sunday 
school classes of different age groups 
going on picnics. The astounding dis- 
covery for adults is that we notice how 
much we need relationships with 

3. Feature special times with the 
children. Occasionally, it is important 
to devote quality time to celebrate the 
children in the midst of the congrega- 
tional family. It might be a children's 
day festival, a Sunday school picnic, a 
children's story time during worship or 
a night of games at the church. Other 
times individual children can feel im- 
portant by helping with offerings, ush- 
ering, the music, the story or a skit 
during worship. Groups of children 
might be asked to read Scripture, deco- 
rate the foyer bulletin board, make a 
banner or sing in the choir. Children 
feel important, needed and affirmed as 
they make contributions to our total 
life together as the family of God. 

4. Include children in the ordi- 
nary rituals. The congregation at 
worship is one of the most powerful 
ways we can model for children a 
sense of what it means to be the body 
of Christ. As children observe adults 
praying, singing, listening, sharing, 
grieving, celebrating, supporting and 
affirming, they begin to sense with 
their hearts and their heads the mean- 
ing of faith and belief. 

5. Enjoy the children. Children 
and all of us are made in the image of 
God. That is a message to be shouted 
from the housetops. Children are pre- 
cious gifts to be nurtured. We must 
help children develop their sense of 
esteem, their sense of worth to us and 
to God. We do that as we listen to 
their stories, as we enjoy their contri- 
butions and as we foster caring rela- 
tionships with them. 

I believe our faith must have chil- 
dren, for what is our faith without 

Rosella Wiens Regier is the Commis- 
sion on Education secretary for chil- 
dren's education. 


Family devotions 

Here is the COE "family" that created this article on family devotions. Front (left to right): 
Maynard Shelly, Randy Krehbiel, Susan Janzen, John W. Sprunger, Paula Lehman; back: 
Rosella Regier, Myrna Krehbiel, Dick Rempel 

Worship experiences in families are as 
varied as the families that hold them. 
Some families set aside a special time 
each day and worship becomes a 
meaningful ritual. For other families, 
worship is most meaningful as they 
respond to special needs, occasions and 
events. Other families struggle be- 
cause it is difficult to feel God present 
with them. For some families, all of 
life is celebration and a total response 
to God. 

However your family chooses to wor- 
ship together, sometime try creating a 
litany. A litany is really a prayer led 
by one person with a variety of re- 
sponses by the group. Litanies can be 
planned in advance or can be created 
on the spur of the moment. They 
should be simple enough so that group 
response is easily remembered as the 
family responds in unison. 

Here is an example: A springtime (or 
any season) prayer. Ask each person in 
the family to think of one thing for 
which he or she is thankful. In turn, 
with eyes open to God, repeat the fol- 
lowing sequence until all have had an 
opportunity to lead once or several 

John: "For cool green grass . . ." 

All: "We thank you, God." 

Anne: "For red and yellow tulips." 

All: "We thank you, God." 

The litany continues until there are 
no more offerings. Then the leader 
closes with "Amen." 

Another important part of family 
devotions or worship is the telling of 
the good news— the biblical story. It is 
also important to tell our story of how 
God is working in our lives. Too often 
we do not take the time to share our 
stories. Here are some practical ways 
to help us tell our stories: 

1. Create a picture album or scrap- 
book for each child to remember spe- 
cial events. Help your child reflect on 
how these events make up the Chris- 
tian life. 

2. Invite grandparents to share sto- 
ries at special occasions, particularly 
stories about how God has worked 
through them. Record these stories on 
cassette if possible. 

3. Make a family tree as a project. 
Try to find out interesting faith stories 
from the past. Do some digging in your 
church records to find some significant 
moments of faith in the life of your 

4. Put stories to music or in skit 
form to share with other family mem- 
bers at reunions. 

You may have many more ideas. The 
important thing is to keep telling the 
stories of good news. 

Often our most meaningful family 
worship times have not been during 
planned devotions or Bible reading but 
at times of other significant events. At 
times it's a part of one-to-one bedtime 
prayers or it will happen in the car. 
My daughter will turn off the radio 
and say, "Mom, we've got to talk." 
And she will share a problem or con- 

Latin American workshop 

Latin American workshop in Bogota, Colombia, 
July 6-Aug. 4. Observation, experience, 
analysis and interpretation of Latin American 
reality from a Christian commitment to 
liberation. The cost for this ninth workshop is 
$649, sponsored by Program of Conscien- 
tization for North Americans (PCNA). 


Paul E. Stucky, coordinator 
1614 Market 
Galveston, TX 77550 
(409) 762-1391. 

cern from school. Sometimes it evokes 
discussion. Sometimes a prayer con- 
cern. Sometimes silence. But how one 
responds can become part of a mean- 
ingful worship time for the family. 

A helpful resource to enrich and 
affirm your family worship is Creative 
Family Worship by Ardys and Palmer 
Becker, available from Faith and Life 
Press. In a supportive way it helps you 
see some of the ways you are already 
loving your children— as foundation for 
family worship. 

The Commission on Education staff 
put their heads together and corpo- 
rately wrote this article. 

Pastor needed 

Hope Mennonite Fellowship, North Battleford, 
Sask., seeks the services of a pastor who has 
an interest in growing with a small, active 
congregation and reaching out to the 

Please submit resumes to: 
Pulpit Committee 
1901 -96th St. 

North Battleford, SK S9A 0J3. 


Strong ties between police officers 
and Ku Klux Klan organizations in a 
number of American cities has been 
uncovered by staff members of the 
Southern Poverty Law Center. Mean- 
while, fire bombings of homes of 
blacks continues. Robert and Martha 
Marshall of Louisville, Ky., had to 
return to their old home after two fire 
bombings of their home in an all-white 
neighborhood there. 

While ecologists in the West congrat- 
ulate themselves on minor recycling 
achievements, Calcutta, a poor city in 
the Far East, leads the world with its 
massive and productive waste-manage- 
ment scheme. Garbage dumped on the 
city's streets and sidewalks becomes 
the soil on which 150 metric tons of 
vegetables are raised. A retinue of 
garbage pickers extract from discarded 
refuse all the materials that could be 
recycled. What remains— a mixture of 
potash and vegetable sludge— is 
scooped up by city trucks and taken to 
a vast garden of some 23,500 acres 
that produces most of the vegetables 
for this city of 10 million. 


To be one conference by 1988 

Ontario Mennonites plan integration 

Waterloo, Ont.— "Only let your manner 
of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ 
. . ." were the opening words of Ed 
Janzen, moderator, as the Conference 
of United Mennonite Churches in On- 
tario gathered here March 15. The 
conference coincided with the larger 
Inter-Mennonite Conference, which 
was taking place during the same 
time, and the topic of inter-Mennonite 
cooperation, or integration, dominated 
the sessions. 

Elected to the various conference 
committees were Arno Bartel as vice 
chair; Alfred Willms, Edna Mensch 
and Don Whitehead, missions and 
service committee; Adelaide Fransen 
and Henry Hildebrandt, education 
committee; Werner Fast, program com- 
mittee; Bill W. Dick, Conrad Grebel 
College committee; and Henry Koop, 
finance committee. Ann Martin was 
appointed conference treasurer. A 1986 
budget of $363,000 was accepted. 

Regarding integration with the West- 
ern Ontario Mennonite Conference 
(WOMC) and the Mennonite Confer- 
ence of Ontario and Quebec (MCOQ), 
95 percent were in favor. Some were 
concerned that a greater theological 
rationale be provided for the churches 
before the three conferences become 
one in 1988. 

Historically, the idea of inter-Menno- 
nite cooperation is not new among the 
Mennonites in Ontario. The three 
groups, as well as several others, have 
had jointly organized activities and 
projects for over 65 years. The Inter- 
Mennonite Conference, an executive 
hody of representatives from all three 

groups (formed in 1974) made possible 
increasing cooperation in missions, 
Christian education and student ser- 
vices. For the past 12 years the IMC 
and the executives of the three groups 
have been working toward the integra- 
tion. In 1985 the proposal for integra- 
tion was discussed in regional and 
district meetings. 

Out of a total of 485 votes, 463, or 
95 percent, were in favor, and 22 were 
opposed to the idea of integration in 
principle. Out of a total of 484 votes, 
453, or 94 percent, were in favor, and 
31 were opposed to the proposed time- 
table for integration to be fully imple- 

Integration should become a reality 
by 1988, following this timetable: 

December 1985: Integration study 
committee presented proposed model 
for integration to Inter-Mennonite 
Executive Committee for approval. 

April-May: Refine and revise the 
model. Subcommittees begin work on 
legal and financial matters, relation- 
ships of committees and staff in more 

June or September: Inter-Mennonite 
Executive Committee approves the 
revised model. 

September to December: Test with 
congregations, cluster meetings, com- 
mittees and staff. Draft constitution 
and job descriptions. 

January 1987: Approved by IEC, 
including what is then known about 
legal and financial implications. 

March 1987: Delegates approve de- 
tailed model. Delegates approve consti- 
tution in principle with suggested 

Singing at youth sessions 

modifications. Delegates approve out- 
line, not details, of staff positions. 
Delegates approve March 1988 as tran- 
sition to new structure. 

April 1987-March 1988: Refinements, 
adjustments, transition team. Legali- 
ties set in place ready to go. 

March 1988: First Mennonite Confer- 
ence of Eastern Canada annual 

"Integration on a Mennonite Theme" 
was also the emphasis for the more 
than 150 youth registrants from all 
three church conferences, who gath- 
ered to hear David Martin, pastor at a 
Mennonite church in Toronto, speak on 
the topic "All in the Family." Joel 

All friends/former participants of 

Arvada Mennonite Church 
are encouraged to come for the 
25th anniversary 
Sunday, July 6, 1986. 

Write to: 


Arvada Mennonite Church 
5927 Miller 
Arvada, CO 80004. 


APRIL 8, 1986 

In a study of 90 two-year-old boys and 
girls in groups of two in a homelike 
setting with their mothers nearby, 
actors simulated warm and friendly 
exchange, then a heated argument, 
then a friendly reconciliation. Analyz- 
ing videotapes, researchers found chil- 
dren more distressed by the heated 
argument, often freezing in place, cry- 
ing, covering their eyes or ears. They 
were also more likely to hit, kick, push 
or take something from their playmate 
afterward. In a follow-up study one 
month later, children were even more 
upset and more aggressive following a 
second heated argument than they 
were the first time. 

Jorge Valbuena, 11, suffered bad 
vision and had used glasses for five 
years. He also experienced progressive 
deafness. He attended the evangelistic 
and healing campaign organized by 
the Central Mennonite Church of Bo- 
gota, Colombia, under the leadership 
of John Jairo Cano. When Jorge 
stepped forward for the prayer of heal- 
ing, he fell to the floor. After two or 
three minutes he came to. He could 
suddenly hear well. The next day at 
home, as he read, he realized he didn't 
need his glasses. He continues to hear 
and see well. 

Mitch Snyder and 11 other hunger 
strikers at the Community for Crea- 
tive Non-Violence in Washington 
ended a 34-day fast recently after 
President Reagan pledged $5 million 
in federal funds to renovate an 800-bed 
shelter for the capital's homeless. The 
president also promised to turn the 
federally owned facility over to the 
District of Columbia government. 

Regier named coordinator of Women in Mission 

Newton, Kan. 
(GCMO-'T am 
excited and en- 
thused about 
WM's involvement 
and activities. I 
see some signifi- 
cant accomplish- 
ments and good 
things happen- 
ing," says Sara 
(Janzen) Regier, 

newly appointed coordinator for 
Women in Mission. 

Regier grew up on a farm near El- 
bing, Kan. She is a graduate of Berean 
Academy, Elbing; Bethel College, and 
Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of 
Nursing, Newton. Her graduate work 
at Kansas State University was in 
family and child development. 

With her husband, Fremont, Regier 
served with the Commission on Over- 
seas Mission and Mennonite Central 
Committee in Mexico, Zaire and Bo- 
tswana. In Mexico (1961-1963) she 
taught health, nutrition and child care 

Service coordinator needed 

Service coordinator needed for Mennonite 
Community Closet Outreach Program at 

North Battleford, Sask. Position opens July 1 
and is for a 2- to 3-year term. The major 
objective of the outreach program is to provide 
Christian counsel and support to needy people 
who come in contact with the Closet. Training 
in social work and experience working with 
people of Native ancestry an asset. Position 
ideal for a married couple, as one partner could 
work part time in the Closet Store. Honorarium 
D.O.E. and financial requirements. 

Send resume to: 

Mennonite Community Closet 
1022 101st St. 

North Battleford, SK S9A 0Z3. 

among Old Colony Mennonites. In 
Zaire (1965-1976) she worked in com- 
munity development, teaching sewing, 
child care, health and nutrition 
classes; organizing and implementing 
leadership training seminars for 
women of the Zaire church; planning 
orientation and teaching language to 
new mission workers. 
Most recently (1981-1985) Regier and 

A Vision 
and a 

The Story of 
by Jess Kauffman 
Faith and Life Press, Newton, Kan. 

"The value of A Vision and a Legacy lies not 
alone in the camping statistics, but also in the 
inspiration the reader gets from recalling per- 
sonal camping experiences. Reading this book 
will hopefully inspire many a reader to return to 
serving in our camps with renewed enthusiasm 
generated by what is now history." — Roy 
Henry, Mennonite Weekly Review 

A Vision and a Legacy is available from Menno- 
nite Camping Association, Box 1245, Elkhart, 
IN 46515, at $7 per copy plus $1 shipping and 

Canadian orders should be addressed to: 
Camps with Meaning, 202-1483 Pembina High- 
way, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2L9, at $8.75 per copy 
plus $1 shipping and handling. 

Checks should be made out to Mennonite 
Camping Association. 

her husband codirected Mennonite 
Ministries in Gabarone, Botswana. 
This involved the administration of a 
mission/development program for 30-40 

Sara and Fremont are the parents of 
three children, Charles, Heidi and 
Nathan. Regier begins her assignment 
with Women in Mission in August. She 
replaces Joan Wiebe, who will be mov- 
ing to the Denver area with her hus- 
band, Leonard, to plant a Mennonite 

Job openings 

Director, skill trainer and direct-care staff are 
needed at Oregon Mennonite Residential 
Services, Inc., (group homes for 
developmentally disabled adults). 

Send inquiries to: 
Jane Toews 
Teaching Research 
345 Monmouth Ave. 
Monmouth, OR 97361 
(503) 838-1220, ext. 401. 

The Welcome Inn 

Community Centre and Church, 
Hamilton, Ont., 
invites you to their 
20th anniversary celebration. 

May 24 

10 a.m.-1 p.m. — VS reunion brunch 

2-8 p.m.— Open house and barbecue 
for everyone. Please join us 
for an afternoon of fun and 

May 25 

10:30 a.m.— Worship service of 

thanksgiving — joint service 
with Hamilton Mennonite at 
Bennetto Auditorium. 

12:30 p.m.— Potluck dinner at Welcome 

All friends of Welcome Inn 
are invited to come for the weekend. 



Challenge '86, "Church Camping as a 
Setting for Nurturing Families," was 
this year's theme for the Mennonite 
Camping Association biennial conven- 
tion. It took place at Lakewood Retreat 
Center, Brooksville, Fla., March 24-27. 
John and Naomi Lederach were the 
guest resource people. 

"Angels in Moscow" celebrated the 
importation of Russian Bible commen- 
taries recently. "It is not often that the 
Russians refer to North Americans as 
'angels,' but it was Russian Christmas 
Eve, so why not?" asks Peter Dyck. 
Dyck was speaking about the Jan. 6 
celebration in Moscow of the importa- 
tion of 5,000 Russian-language Barclay 
Bible commentaries to the Soviet Un- 
ion. Mennonite Central Committee 
and Baptist World Alliance split the 
costs on the project. 

"A critical self-examination of Men- 
nonite experience, identity and task, 
especially as it pertains to the North 
American context." That is the ambi- 
tious goal of a conference on Menno- 
nite self-understanding to be held at 
Conrad Grebel College in Waterloo, 
Ont., May 28-31. Sponsored by the 
Mennonite Bicentennial Commission 
and CGC, the conference will feature a 
wide range of academic addresses with 
formal responses by Mennonite and 
non-Mennonite scholars. The purpose 
of the conference is to analyze the eco- 
nomic, cultural, philosophical and reli- 
gious factors which have influenced the 
North American Mennonite world view. 

Mennonite Health Association tackles tough issues 

Small group responds to Joan Guntzelman's address. 

Denver (Meetinghouse)— The Menno- 
nite Health Association meeting here 
March 1-5 with the Brethren Homes 
and Hospital Association and the Ca- 
nadian Mennonite Health Assembly, 
struggled with tough issues in health 
care today: affiliation for future sur- 
vival, repairing/resourcing health-care 
workers under stress, accepting respon- 
sibility for life termination, examining 
differences between the health-care 
scenes in the United States and Can- 
ada. The theme for the larger Protes- 
tant Health and Welfare Assembly— in 
which the MHA meets as one of the 
denominational groupings in addition 
to PHWA sessions— was "Maximizing 
Resources— Whose Responsibility?" 

Including 29 nursing students, 315 
registered for the MHA convention. 
About 40 were from Canada. 

In the keynote address to MHA, Joan 
Guntzelman, health-care consultant, 
said that three things are contributing 
to the stress upon care-givers: (1) Tech- 
nologizing of medicine leads to focus 
on machines instead of on people. (2) 
Competition, especially in U.S. hospi- 
tals, where thousands of beds are 
empty, is turning health care into a 
business. This turns the focus from 
care to economic viability. (3) Acuity of 
care. Many care-givers today deal daily 
with issues of prolonging life and de- 
laying death. These bring great stress 
upon the workers. 

Guntzelman said these challenges 
must be addressed (1) by identifying 
and keeping our values clearly before 
the care-givers and care-receivers, (2) 
by choosing deliberately to serve peo- 
ple's needs rather than be economic 
competitors and (3) by acknowledging 
the stresses and providing "hardhats" 
for health-care givers. 

Robert M. Veatch, Kennedy Institute 
of Ethical Studies, told the opening 
PHWA session (about 2,000 people) 

that the Protestant ethic says that all 
can think ethically. 

Veatch named five ways he did not 
like to see health dollars spent: (1) for 
patient care that patients don't want, 

(2) for useless technological heroics, (3) 
for defensive medicine practices to 
protect from malpractice, (4) for care to 
people already in comatose states and 
(5) for care due to people's dangerous 
lifestyles voluntarily chosen. 

In contrast, Veatch named five ways 
of health care he supports: (1) pallia- 
tion for people in agony, (2) meeting 
the needs of those sickest among us, 

(3) preventive care, (4) extra spending 
to give the poor a fair shake and (5) a 
fair allocation for research. 

John H. Redekop, professor of politi- 
cal science and moderator of the Men- 
nonite Brethren Churches in Canada, 
replaced Jake Epp, Canada's Minister 
of Health, as the speaker at the an- 
nual Mennonite and Brethren ban- 
quet. Redekop analyzed health-care 
workers in Canada and the United 
States. He argued that U.S. Anabap- 
tists are stronger "nationalists" but 
less active in government. Canadian 
Mennonites are less "national" but 
more active in government. 

While U.S. Anabaptists basically 
accept health care as another entrepre- 
neurial enterprise, Canadian Anabap- 

tists find that security and logic leads 
them to trust in a national health-care 
policy. Canadians see government 
more like an "inefficient service 
agency" essentially helpful, while 
Americans tend to see government as 
an invader upon private turf— outside 
of God's kingdom. 

The undercurrent of pressures upon 
the ongoing existence of health-care 
institutions seemed prevalent through- 
out the convention. Some wondered out 
loud about whether they'd still be 
around in a few years. With 145 differ- 
ent Mennonite and Brethren institu- 
tions represented at Denver, two task 
forces— one appointed by Mennonite 
Mental Health Services and one by 
MHA— reported on preliminary find- 
ings about future affiliations and new 
management possibilities. About 50 
MHA members registered to stay an 
extra half day for a special seminar on 
affiliation of health-care institutions. 

MHA reported a 1986 membership of 
901, adopted a budget of $48,400, reap- 
pointed H. Ernest Bennett as executive 
director for 1987-89 and announced 
that the 1987 convention would be 
held March 14-18 at New Orleans on a 
theme related to the International 
Year of the Homeless. Dottie Kauff- 
mann, Goshen, Ind., was installed as 
the new MHA president. Bernie Wiebe 


APRIL 8, 1986 

The Dutch Mennonite Theological 

Seminary— oldest Mennonite semi- 
nary in the world— observed its 250th 
anniversary in December 1985 with a 
special program in Amsterdam. Sjouke 
Voolstra, who teaches Christian theol- 
ogy and ethics and Mennonite theol- 
ogy at the seminary, was the main 
speaker. He noted that Dutch Menno- 
nites are celebrating two other dates 
during this period— the 450th anniver- 
sary of Menno Simons' conversion to 
Anabaptism and the 175th anniver- 
sary of the organization of the Alge- 
mene Doopsgezinde Societeit (the 
Dutch Mennonite Conference). 

Thirty summer service volunteers 
are needed by Mennonite Voluntary 
Service for short-term assignments. 
Summer service volunteers help local 
groups carry out special summer pro- 
grams and provide assistance during 
times of staff transition. Summer as- 
signments provide opportunities to 
gain field experience and encourage 
longer-term service or missions com- 
mitment. For information contact 
David Orr, MVS, Box 347, Newton, KS 
67114, (316) 283-5100. 

The Church of the Brethren General 
Board has voted to divest "immedi- 
ately" from all corporations or finan- 
cial institutions involved in the Repub- 
lic of South Africa. The decision 
prompted considerable debate because 
the denomination's annual conference 
is scheduled to respond in June to the 
issue of divestiture. 

CoMoS looks at SCBI, Youth Farm 

Waldheim, Sask.-The 27th annual 
Conference of Mennonites of Saskatch- 
ewan convened at Zoar Mennonite 
Church here Feb. 28-March 1. 

"Add to your faith . . . knowledge" 
(2 Peter 1:5) was not only the theme of 
the conference but a premonition of 
which program area would cause the 
most vigorous discussion. J. Herbert 
Fretz of Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 
Elkhart, Ind., spoke on 2 Peter 1 in 
three presentations: (1) This knowledge 
participates in the divine nature (vv. 1- 
4), (2) this knowledge ushers in ethical 
living (vv. 5-11), (3) the sources of this 
knowledge (vv. 12-21). 

Henry H. Funk, conference pastor, 
indicated that half of the 46 CoMoS 
congregations have less than 100 mem- 
bers. Over a dozen congregations are 
looking for pastors or associates, and 
many of the present pastors will retire 
in the next few years, further exacer- 
bating the already acute pastoral 

The conference accepted three new 
congregations in its membership: Jubi- 
lee Mennonite, Swift Current; Peace 
Mennonite, Regina; Peace Mennonite, 
North Saskatoon. 

The smooth-sailing conference first 

Pastor needed 

Toronto United Mennonite Church (GC) 
invites applications for the position of full-time 
pastor. TUMC is an urban congregation 
(membership 159) with a lay team ministry and 
is actively involved in inter-Mennonite and other 
service projects. Applicants may be individuals 
or a couple sharing the pastorate. Duties begin 
in September. Experience is required. 

For an information package please write to the 
chairman of the search committee: 

Bob Tiessen 

240 Scarlett Road 

Apt. 1101 

Toronto, ON M6N 4X4. 

Delmer and Elsie Epp, coordinators for the 
General Conference triennial sessions to be 
held in Saskatoon July 21-27. 

got stuck on the Rosthern Youth Farm 
issue. A task force appointed two years 
ago had spent much time and energy 
seeking out and evaluating proposals 
for use of Youth Farm land, ranging 
from using it for settling Native land 
claims to growing wheat for the Food- 
grains Bank. It finally opted for a 
combination of activities including (1) 
a retirement village, (2) homes for 
disadvantaged youth, (3) market gar- 
dening project, (4) MCC service and 
development education training centre 
and (5) a Mennonite Heritage Centre. 
A membership society was to operate 
this diverse venture. After much strug- 
gle and the prospect of another $7,500 
budget item this year, the ballot vote 
came out a tie, signifying the divided- 
ness of the opinion and defeating the 

However, the service committee and 
the board of Mennonite Nursing 
Home, which is located on Youth Farm 
property, was granted permission to 
pursue the development of a retire- 
ment village on the same land and 
present detailed plans at next year's 

Over and again people voiced sup- 
port for Swift Current Bible Institute. 
But the capital debt exceeds $400,000, 

and the operating deficit grows. Added 
to this is an enrollment of only 42 
students and an almost total turnover 
of faculty in the coming year. The low 
level of operating funds available to 
the school has resulted in a lack of 
teaching aids, faculty and staff sala- 
ries below the official poverty line, 
program and faculty and staff posi- 
tions being cut again in the coming 
year, once again causing fewer stu- 
dents and fewer funds. 

In an effort to respond to the situa- 
tion, delegates voted a 10 percent 
increase to SCBI (approximately 
$37,900). That goodwill was shortlived 
as the motion was brought forward 
later and rescinded. 

David Ortis, outgoing principal of 
SCBI, said, "Give us the tools and we 
will do the task." The tools, he said, 
are prayer, young people and money. 

It was agreed that a mini-conference 
on SCBI would be held this year in 
order to further deal with recommen- 
dations in a task force report. 

The budget discussion dragged on. 
The final budget accepted was 

Irvin Schmidt was re-elected chair- 
person and Henry V. Friesen vice 
chairperson. Edmund Pries 

Assistant pastor needed 

First Mennonite Church, Saskatoon, is 

seeking a full-time assistant pastor, 
commencing Sept. 1. This could be a shared 

Primary responsibilities would be youth ministry 
and assisting with pulpit duties. Ability to give 
leadership in church music would be an asset. 

For information or application contact: 
Archie Epp, congregational chairman 
1513 Argyle Ave. 
Saskatoon, SK S7H 2W3 
(306) 374-1516. 


A revised church/college matching 
scholarship program was passed by the 
Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) 
board at its Feb. 27-March 1 meeting 
and will begin during the 1986-87 
school year. It provides a 25 percent 
match from Bethel College to any 
Mennonite student whose church offers 
a scholarship. Currently 183 students 
from 37 congregations are receiving 
scholarships from their churches. 

The question of Sunday store open- 
ings is being dealt with by both the 
politicians and the courts. Last spring 
the Canadian Supreme Court struck 
down the 1907 federal Lord's Day Act 
on the ground that it had a religious 
purpose and therefore violated the 
Charter of Rights. Now the Ontario 
Retail Sales Act, a provincial law 
which also deals with Sunday store 
openings, is also being challenged in 
the Supreme Court. A ruling is ex- 
pected in the summer. 

Fellowship of Mennonite Churches 
in Taiwan has invited two major in- 
ternational gatherings to meet in May 
in the Taipei area. The Mennonite 
World Conference executive committee 
will hold its annual meetings May 7- 
14 at the Golden China Hotel in Tai- 
pei. One key topic is a review of MWC 
relations with the International Men- 
nonite Peace Committee. This meeting 
will be followed by sessions of the III 
Asia Mennonite Conference May 14-18 
at a retreat center outside the city, 
involving some 35 delegates from 
seven nations. They will focus on 
"Christian Discipleship in Asia 

Conversations on Faith III tackles 'inerrancy' question 

Mt. Pleasant, Pa.— To be for "iner- 
rancy" or not to be. That was the ques- 
tion—or at least one of them— at 
Conversations on Faith III March 5-7 
at the Laurelville Mennonite Church 
Center here. 

The word that has sharply divided 
Southern Baptists and other evangeli- 
cal groups popped up at the third 
annual event designed to bring Menno- 
nites of various views together to dis- 
cuss their differences. Called by the 
MC General Board, Conversations on 
Faith was a response to charges that 
the Mennonite Church is drifting away 
from its traditional beliefs. 

The theme this year was "Biblical 
Interpretation," and the meeting 
opened with a historical overview on 
Mennonites and the Bible by historian 
J. C. Wenger (via videotape). Respon- 
dent Marlin Miller of Associated Men- 
nonite Biblical Seminaries, Elkhart, 
Ind., noted that the word "inerrancy" 
has cropped up only once in official 
Mennonite documents— in 1921. 

"Inerrancy" is used by fundamental- 
ist Christians to describe the Bible as 
completely without error— at least in 
its original manuscripts (which have 
never been found). They say that the 
studies of modern biblical scholars 
have cast doubt on the veracity of the 

Some Mennonites obviously share 
this view, as indicated by the "amens" 
to the criticism by Grand Rapids, 
Mich., pastor Monty Ledford that Men- 
nonite seminary professors are under- 
mining the trustworthiness of the 

Seminary professors in attendance 
countered by saying that the inerrant 
approach to the Bible detracts from a 
fuller understanding of the intent and 
spirit of the Scriptures. "Does iner- 
rancy mean that I'm supposed to be- 
lieve that the earth has four corners, 

as the Old Testament says?" asked 
Dorothy Jean Weaver of Eastern Men- 
nonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Va. 

The two viewpoints were argued by 
Otis Yoder and Paul Zehr in presenta- 
tions on inspiration and authority. 
Yoder, a radio evangelist, espoused a 
"narrow" position, while Zehr, a Lan- 
caster Conference leader, called for a 
more "open" position. Both men said 
they have a "high view" of the Bible. 

An interesting— and lively— case 
study for biblical interpretation cen- 
tered on the creation account in Gene- 
sis. Willard Mayer of Rosedale Bible 
Institute argued for the literal histori- 
cal accuracy of the account, while Ron 
Guengerich of Hesston (Kan.) College 
said the ancient account is spiritual 
symbolism and not scientific analysis. 
"If I follow Ron's cosmology, I would 
understand the Bible better but 
wouldn't necessarily trust it," said 
retired Virginia Conference leader 
Linden Wenger in a comment that 
drew appreciative laughter at the end 
of a long discussion. "If I follow Wil- 
lard's theory of inspiration, I would 
trust the Bible but wouldn't necessar- 
ily understand it." 

In two other case studies, Don Ja- 
cobs, Ernest Martin, George Brunk III 

and Dan Yutzy showed various ap- 
proaches to teaching and preaching on 
Acts 15 and Luke 24. 

In the end, the "conservatives" 
seemed to concede that rigid words 
like inerrancy are not helpful, and the 
"liberals" agreed that their biblical 
scholarship must lead to deeper faith 
in the Bible. A member of the latter 
group proposed an alternative to iner- 
rancy— "the Bible is truthful in all 
that it affirms." A member of the 
former group said that that wording 
"has some credibility." 

Attendance at Conversations on 
Faith III was down— 140 compared to 
about 200 at each of the previous two— 
but observers noted a good spirit and a 
trust in each other. Steve Shenk 

to the 
Frank H. Epp 
Scholarship Fund 

Conrad Grebel College has established a 
scholarship fund in memory of Frank H. Epp, 
former president and professor of history, who 
passed away on Jan. 22. This fund is an oppor- 
tunity for friends and colleagues to make an 
ongoing contribution to his memory. Your dona- 
tion to the fund will be welcomed — in any 
amount. Tax-deductible receipts will be issued 

Proceeds of the fund will be used to promote 
the study of Mennonites and other minorities — 
one of Frank's deep concerns and interests 
during his 30 years of writing and public 

Send contributions to: 

Conrad Grebel College 
Waterloo. ON N2L 3G6. 

(Please mark your contribution: Frank H. Epp 
Memorial Scholarship Fund.) 


APRIL 8, 1986 

President Reagan wants workfare 
instituted throughout the country be- 
cause he thinks it can cut welfare 
spending. He has improvised a set of 
extravagant and unfounded claims 
about the workfare program he oper- 
ated as governor of California in the 
early '70s, says the American Friends 
Service Committee. According to 
Reagan, 76,000 people were placed in 
private jobs by this program. According 
to state records, however, only 8,000 
people were enrolled during the three- 
year life of the program; California 
officials say they have no idea how 
many of these people may have found 
jobs as a result. 

Newton, Kan. (GCMQ— Donovan G. 
and Naomi Reimer Unruh, General 
Conference missionaries in Zaire, re- 
cently participated in a 24-day evange- 
lism campaign in Kahemba, Zaire, in 
the southeastern part of Bandundu, 
near the Angolan border. Over 1,051 
people made a public commitment to 

The campaign was conducted by a 
12-member team. Unruh, as coor- 
dinator for Theological Education by 
Extension (TEE) for the Mennonite 
Church of Zaire, arranged the venture. 

The expedition assembled at Kikwit 
and traveled together to Kahemba, 
completing the 215-mile trip in 20 
hours. The evangelism team estab- 
lished headquarters in a local hotel 
and prepared for the opening session of 
the campaign the next day by fasting 
and praying. Don Unruh notes that "it 
was not unusual to have as many as 
two to three people fasting a day dur- 
ing the duration of the campaign." 

The team members' days began and 
ended with prayer and meditation 
sessions, often lasting over an hour. 

MCC openings 

Mennonite Central Committee in Akron, Pa., 
has immediate employment opportunities for an 
experienced secretary in MCC Peace Section 
and for an administrative assistant in 
Information Services. Also coming up in spring 
and summer are openings for secretaries, 
receptionist and administrative assistants. 

For more information contact: 
MCC Personnel Services 
Box M 

Akron, PA 17501 
(717) 859-1151; 


MCC Canada 

201-1483 Pembina Highway 
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2C8 
(204) 475-3550. 

"The Confessing Church in Amer- 
ica" will be the topic of a Mennonite 
Central Committee U.S. Peace Section 
assembly planned for April 25-26 in 
Wichita, Kan. The assembly's subtitle 
is "Conscientious Objection to Con- 
scription of the Heart and Mind." Key- 
note speaker will be George Hun- 
singer, Presbyterian professor of 
theology at Bangor (Maine) Theologi- 
cal Seminary. 

They also engaged in group Bible 
study of Daniel and Acts. 

The sessions were divided into morn- 
ing and afternoon services. Morning 
sessions were devoted to teaching wit- 
nessing skills and how to use the tools 
of evangelism, and afternoon sessions 
dealt with God, Christ and salvation. 

Unruh, Pastor Mutshikani and 
Mputu Matanda shared the primary 
teaching duties for the campaign. Gi- 
paka Gilangu of the TEE program 
translated the services and other mes- 
sages into Kituba. The other team 
members served as counselors. 

Turnout at the sessions was consist- 
ently strong, with 1,111 people attend- 
ing the first session and an average 
daily attendance of around 655 people. 
The team preached to at least 10,150 
people during the campaign. In addi- 
tion to those making a public commit- 
ment to Christ, others spoke of taking 
new spiritual directions. 

Attendance at the sessions increased 
daily as a result of personal and public 
testimony. One new convert, Brother 
Mabanza, gave testimony that after he 
made his commitment to Christ, the 
Spirit would not leave him alone until 
he resolved an outstanding quarrel 
with his prospective father-in-law. Un- 
ruh observes that this incident hap- 
pened before the team had even begun 
to talk about forgiveness being con- 
nected to restoration of human 

On Sundays the team preached in 
the local open-air marketplace to large 
crowds of about 2,500 people each 
week. Many of these people later at- 
tended the weekday morning and eve- 
ning sessions. The original plan to 
conduct witnessing-technique seminars 
in the weekday morning sessions was 
replaced with affirming sessions that 
helped new converts understand the 
decision they had made for Christ. 

World Evangelical Fellowship has 

decided to move its headquarters from 
Wheaton, 111., to an international cen- 
ter. Singapore was provisionally se- 
lected as the new site, and November 
was set as the target date for the 
move. WEF will retain offices in 
Wheaton and in Europe. 


Women at evangelistic meeting in Zaire 

Unruh reports some persistent prob- 
lems in the Kahemba church commu- 
nity that hinder spiritual growth. 
Many marriages and family relation- 
ships are in disorder, largely as the 
result of divorce and unfaithfulness. 
Also many people still believe in 
witchcraft, magic, fatal curses and 
fetishes for protection against super- 
natural attacks. During the revival 
campaign numerous fetishes and amu- 
lets were relinquished and burned. 

The campaign concluded with the 
baptism of 76 adults. Some of these 
believers had been earlier baptized in 
the Catholic church but asked to be 
rebaptized upon knowledge of Christ 
and public confession of faith. Unruh 
notes that many more people asked to 
be baptized, but he and the other pas- 
tors refused to baptize those people 
who lived together outside of marriage 
or who came from polygamous 

Unruh and Gipaka Gilangu also 
organized TEE Bible-study classes in 
Kahemba, Kamayal and Bindu. Cur- 
rent lessons are about the book of 
Acts. These classes mark the first time 
in four years that Mennonites visited 
the area with TEE literature and af- 
firmed contact with the people of Ka- 
hemba, who as an isolated minority 
tribe often feel neglected by the Men- 
nonite community of Zaire's central 
administration. David Sprunger 

Evangelism campaign in Zaire yields Christian 


"We want to wear out, not rust 
out," say Mennonite Disaster Service 
volunteers Howard and Miriam Head- 
ings of West Liberty, Ohio. This is 
their third winter of packing up their 
van and traveling around the United 
States, doing home repair and renova- 
tion until spring. "It used to be that 
mom and dad were home, wondering 
where the kids were," muses Howard. 
"Now the kids are home wondering 
where their parents are." 

Organizations in Manitoba and Sas- 
katchewan, begun with the help of 
Mennonite Central Committee Can- 
ada, have helped as many as 500 
southern Saskatchewan farmers— and 
their livestock— make it through the 
winter. Hay, straw, feed grains and 
cash was provided by donors in north- 
ern Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Al- 
berta and distributed to farmers in 
parts of Saskatchewan badly affected 
by last year's drought and insect 

Denver Opportunity for Outreach 
and Reflection (DOOR) offers church 
and college groups and families a 
chance to serve in Denver for a holi- 
day, weekend or week, cleaning and 
repairing homes and churches. DOOR 
participants will meet with people who 
live and work in the inner city and 
talk about the meaning of Christian 
service, urban life and human needs in 
the city. DOOR is sponsored by Menno- 
nite Urban Ministry, the Christian 
service organization of the Mennonite 
and Brethren in Christ churches in 
Denver. Contact Mennonite Urban 
Ministry, 430 W. Ninth Ave., Denver, 
CO 80204, (303) 892-1039. 


May 15-18— Festival of Worship, 
Goshen, Ind. 

July 21-27— General Conference tri- 
ennial sessions, Saskatoon, theme: 
"Thy Kingdom Come" 

Sept. 25-28-Aid to Christian Teach- 
ing, Whiting, N.J. 

July 4-8— Conference of Mennonites 
in Canada, Waterloo, Ont. 

May 1-4— Eastern District Confer- 
ence, Bedminster, Pa. 

June 12-15— Northern District Con- 
ference, Mountain Lake, Minn. 

June 19-22— Pacific District Confer- 
ence, Aurora, Ore. 

Oct. 17-19— Western District Confer- 
ence, Wichita, Kansas 


Claude Boyer, pastor at First Church, 
Reedley, Calif., resigned effective in 
June. Beginning in July he will be 
pastor at Grace Church, Pandora, 

Walter Braun, pastor at Mount Royal 
Mennonite Church, Saskatoon, re- 
signed effective in August. 

Robert Coon, pastor at Deer Creek 
(Okla.) Church, resigned effective in 
August, after which he will begin pas- 
toring at Turpin (Okla.) Church. 

Rodney Crowell became pastor at 
Emmaus Church, Whitewater, Kan., 
this month. 

Steve Estes is serving as interim 
pastor at Bethel Church, Pekin, 111. He 

continues as pastor at Boynton 
Church, Hopedale, 111. 

Elmer Friesen resigned as pastor at 
Glendale Church, Lynden, Wash., ef- 
fective in September. 

Larry Grunden is serving as interim 
pastor at Trenton (Ohio) Church. 

Ulli Klemm began serving as pastor 
on a half-time basis at Manor Commu- 
nity Church, Chicago, Jan. 1. 

Gary Martin, pastor at Manor Com- 
munity Church, Chicago, resigned 
effective this summer. 

R. Herbert Minnich began serving as 
pastor at Inter-Mennonite Church, 
Hesston, Kan., in February. 

Urbane Peachy will serve as pastor 
at Akron (Pa.) Church effective in 

Robert Shreiner resigned as pastor at 
Hyattsville (Md.) Church effective in 

Dennis Stutzman has begun serving 
as youth pastor at First Church, 
Berne, Ind. 

Mei-Li Warmkessel was licensed to 
the ministry March 9 and serves as 
assistant pastor to Adam Liu at Santa 
Clara (Calif.) Church. 

Paul Wikerd resigned as pastor at 
Bethel Church, Lancaster, Pa., effec- 
tive in December. 

Calvin Yoder will begin serving as 
assistant pastor at Zion Church, 
Souderton, Pa., effective in June. 

John Hess Yoder resigned as pastor 
at Peace Church, Portland, Ore., effec- 
tive in May. 


Paul W. Brunk, Harrisonburg, Va., and 
Norman Maust, Goshen, Ind., have 
been named regional managers by 
Mennonite Mutual Aid. Brunk will 

Polle Rinner 

supervise community representatives- 
mutual aid counselors— in the eastern 
United States. Maust will supervise 
counselors in the central United 

Martha F. Graber, North Newton, 
Kan., has resigned as director of Inter- 
Mennonite Council on Aging. 

Larry Hills, Commission on Overseas 
Mission worker, returned to the 
Transkei, Southern Africa, Jan. 29 to 
resume his work in Bible teaching and 
leadership training among the Africa 
Independent Churches. 

David Kratowicz has joined Great 
Lakes Choice Books as its director. 

Bluffton (Ohio) College has an- 
nounced two appointments: Richard K. 
MacMaster will be associate professor 
of history for the 1986-87 academic 
year; Margie Closson became director 
of financial aid March 1. 

Canadian Mennonite Bible College 
has appointed Sig Polle and Lois Ed- 
mund as assistant professors in practi- 
cal theology effective July 1. 

Esther Lehrman Rinner, administra- 
tive assistant in the Commission on 
Home Ministries, resigned March 14, 
completing 15 years with CHM. 

Harriet and LaVerne Rutschman, 
COM workers, have begun two-year 
terms on the staff at Latin America 


APRIL 8, 1986 

A Fesitval of Worship sponsored by 
the General Conference, the Church of 
the Brethren and the Mennonite 
Church will be held May 15-18 at 
Goshen (Ind.) College. Donald Hustad, 
former organist for Billy Graham now 
teaching at Southern Baptist Theologi- 
cal Seminary, Louisville, Ky, is the 
keynote speaker. The festival's theme, 
"An Exploration into the Meaning and 
Practice of Worship," will be carried 
out through experiencing worship, 
biblical studies and more than 40 
workshops. Registration fee before 
April 15 is $35. After April 15 it is 
$40. Write to Festival of Worship, Box 
1245, Elkhart, IN 46515. 


Biblical Seminary in Costa Rica. 

David Schertz is the new administra- 
tor of Mennonite Hospital, Blooming- 
ton, 111. 

A defense 
against cancer 
can be cooked up 
in your kitchen. 

There is evidence that 
diet and cancer are related. 
Follow these modifications in 
your daily diet to reduce 
chances of getting cancer: 

1. Eat more high-fiber foods 
such as fruits and vegetables 
and whole-grain cereals. 

2 . Include dark green and 
deep yellow fruits and vegeta- 
bles rich in vitamins A and C. 

3. Include cabbage, broccoli, 
brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and 

4. Be moderate in consump- 
tion of salt-cured, smoked, and 
nitrite-cured foods. 

5. Cut down on total fat in- 
take from animal sources and 
fats and oils. 

6. Avoid obesity. 

7. Be moderate in consump- 
tion of alcoholic beverages. 

I No one faces cancer alone. 



Is there any value 
to biblical criticism? 

What are the benefits? 
What are the dangers? 
How does one integrate the 
findings of higher criticism 
with one's faith? 



, 0 rd i'V 


Biblical Criticism 
in the Life of 
the Church 

by Paul M. Zehr 

Biblical Criticism in the Life of the I 
Church brings the scholar and layperson I 
closer together while developing a deeper I 
commitment to Christ and the Holy 1 
Scriptures. I 

"Having a robust faith in the Bible is 
not an excuse for sticking our 
heads in the sands of ignorance .... 
Biblical scholars must engage in biblical 
criticism. But they can do so only as 
humble and faithful disciples of Christ— 
as earnest Christians. 

"This book will enhance the unity of the believing community. Young 
scholars will realize that the church does perceive the necessity of doing 
biblical criticism. Older members will see that the younger people are not 
necessarily adopting unbiblical canons of thought by presupposing untrue 
assumptions. Together we move forward as we hold firmly to Christian 
truth." — from the foreword by J. C. Wenger 

Biblical Criticism in the Life of the Church is designed to 
introduce biblical criticism within the context of the Christian faith to first-time 
students, whether high school, college or seminary, pastors, and interested 
laypersons. It shows both the strengths and weaknesses of biblical criticism. 
Paper $6.95, in Canada $9.75 

Back in Print 

Biblical Revelation and Inspiration 

by H. S. Bender 

In this faith-building pamphlet Bender clarifies some of the questions raised 
about God's revelation to man and the inspiration of the Bible. 

The fact that this careful statement, originally published in 1959, speaks 
clearly and perceptively, even in the context of todays battle over the Bible, 
attests to its worth and status as a classic. In attempting to delineate a theory 
of revelation and inspiration that is faithful to the biblical text, Bender ably 
avoids the extremes of both liberals and conservatives. 
Paper $1.45, in Canada $2.05 

Ask for these and other Herald Press books at your local bookstore. If you have 
no bookstore available, you may write to Herald Press. Please add 10 
percent, minimum $1.00, to cover shipping. 


Herald Press 

Dept. MEN 

Scottdale,PA 15683-1999 
Kitchener, ON N2G4M5 


Sheep! Sheep walk on to the road without looking, even if you are bearing down on 

them with horn blaring. Sheep don't seem to have any idea how to get off the road or ^ 

out of the way. They must have been made without any sense of direction. They will 

and run straight toward the car that's chasing them. And since there are always 

a herd of them, you end up with sheep running in all directions, so that you can't even 

pull over and go around. Of all the animals on the road, sheep are the worst ones to 

meet — they are so unpredictable. When I'm driving down the road, I often think about 

how many times in the Gospels Jesus referred to us as 

Cas Paulsen, pastor in Transkei, a South African homeland 

Learning from those with whom we work. 

Mennonite Central Committee 
21 South 12th Street 
Box M 

Akron, PA 17501 

MCC Canada 

201-1483 Pembina Hwy. 

Winnipeg, MB R3T 2C8 


Finally a straight furrow? 

For some years now I have been wait- 
ing for our conferences to take a clear 
stand on the homosexual problem. Are 
we ready to accept the Scriptures as 
our guidelines in this area? 

I was glad to read Terrence Paige's 
letter, "Sexuality Like Ice Cream" 
(Jan. 28 issue, p. 43). He has finally 
drawn a straight furrow through the 
New Testament and has shown us 
what the Scriptures have to say on 
this issue. I know he will be criticized 
because we have a number of people 
that will not agree. Sometimes I won- 
der why we question God or do not 
agree with our Lord or criticize what 
the Holy Spirit has to say through the 
apostles. To some, homosexuality is 
not a sin but an abnormal expression 
of love and therefore cannot be con- 
demned and must be condoned. It 
would help us if more articles of this 
nature would be printed in this paper 
and the editorials could spearhead a 
biblical clarification of this problem. 
Yes, we do need to love the sinner, but 
that does not mean that we have to 
condone sin. How much longer will we 
need to study this problem to come to 
a clear biblical conclusion? P. J. 
Froese, 3275 Cheam Drive, Route 8, 
Abbotsford, BC V2S 6A9 

March 3 

Leadership and Mennonites 

Bernie Loeppky in "Mixed Models of 
Church and Leadership" (Feb. 11 is- 
sue) states that when there is a prob- 
lem of leadership in a church, the real 
issues are not dealt with and someone 
is stuck with the blame. But Loeppky 
doesn't deal with the real issues in 
suggesting solutions either. He resorts 
instead to the common Mennonite 
practice of blaming other Christian 
groups for setting up bad models that 
we have emulated. The implied mes- 
sage is that if we do it our way we'll 
get it right. 

Few churches have such a history of 
discord and abuse of leadership powers 
as does the Mennonite church in Rus- 
sia and even the early days in North 
America. There was a time when 
many Mennonite bishops ruled with 
an iron fist. The reaction to this has 
been a democratic church in a demo- 
cratic country 

The issue is not theology or model- 
ing. It is human relationships. The 
biblical models of leadership are not 

nearly as broad as our notion of shared 
ministry is. A great deal of what we 
think is Scripture is merely Anabap- 
tist theology devised by the all-too- 
human interpretation of our own 
people (40 variations in 500 years at 
last count?). 

The real problem in the modern 
church is that we are all too steeped in 
secular democracy, which promotes the 
individual rather than humility and 
deference to others. 

The article also says that few pasto- 
ral families are producing candidates 
for the ministry. This can be traced in 
part to the changing values of the 
church in current society. Sacrifice is 
no longer attractive in a society where 
few are willing to make it. 

Our Anabaptist models have never 
worked in practice as well as they have 
on paper. It's time to cut out the press 
release approach in understanding 
ourselves. We need Christ, the Scrip- 
ture, each other and humility in our 
daily lifestyle in and out of church. 
Whatever model we then use will 
work. Wally Goossen, 16 Helen St., 
Apt. 106, Dundas, ON L9H 1N4 

March 3 

Editor's note: This is a much-con- 
densed version of Wally 's response. A 
full copy is available. 

'High touch' buzzword? 

I noticed you used the term "high 
touch" in your editorial (Feb. 25 issue). 
Is that when you reach up and pat 
someone on the head who is taller 
than you? Would "low touch" be the 
reverse? Perhaps high touch is an eso- 
teric usage unknown to those uniniti- 
ated into some mystical order? I sus- 
pect it is some sort of buzzword people 
flaunt to intimidate others and feign 
communication among themselves. In 
any event, there may be more effective 
ways to communicate. John Burton, 
Box 1652, Wheatridge, CO 80034 

March 11 

Editor's note: Good reminder. 

Irked by mockery 

I am irked when I hear speakers say, 
"God bless you, every one," at the 
conclusion of a speech that has just (at 
least in my way of thinking) made a 
mockery of God's truth and blessing. 
This, to me, is tantamount to taking 
God's name in vain. I experienced this 

recently during one of President 
Reagan's nationally televised speeches. 
He trumpeted the call of "peace, 
peace" via military strength (in which 
there is no real peace), then closed 
with the words "God bless you, every 
one," or something to that effect. 

These are the attitudes that the Lord 
blesses (cf. Matthew 5:3-10): Blessed 
are we who seek to . . . walk humbly 
with our God— receive the Holy Spirit 
. . . admit our wrongheadedness and 
quit justifying ourselves and our life- 
styles— grieve over our self-centered- 
ness and sin . . . yield in trust to God's 
way— believe in Jesus . . . know, obey 
and be like Jesus only, the Righteous 
One— cleave to Jesus . . . bestow lavish 
grace on others— offer a reprieve in the 
name of Christ . . . have a single- 
minded devotion to God— leave other 
idolatrous loyalties ... be ambassadors 
of reconciliation— retrieve the lost, the 
outcast, the stranger, the enemy ... be 
willing to suffer, sacrifice, lay down 
our lives (instead of taking another's 
life) for the sake of "rightness"— heave 
our "cross" on our shoulders and fol- 
low Jesus. Doug Reichenbach, Box 67, 
Wayland, IA 52654 

March 14 

Promote The Mennonite 

I affirm The Mennonite and our need 
in Canada for this paper for a number 
of reasons: (1) The younger people and 
people coming into our church from 
the "outside" (non-ethnic Mennonites) 
prefer The Mennonite. They appreciate 
the type of articles, spiritual input and 
teaching they find in it. They were 
happy to choose the paper under the 
Every Home Plan. 

2. The Mennonite is a link that ties 
all of us together in the General Con- 
ference also beyond Canada. 

Therefore, I urge the General Confer- 
ence to promote The Mennonite 
throughout Canada and the United 
States. I would like to see it under- 
girded in some kind of plan in coopera- 
tion with the local churches. 

I am a past newspaper subscription 
representative for Bergthal Mennonite 
Church, Didsbury, Alta. Our present 
representative, Nettie Hildebrandt, 
also endorses this concern. Erna Goer- 
zen, Route 1, Carstairs, AB TOM 0N0 

March 18 

Editor's note: Thanks for the affirma- 
tion. How do other Canadian readers 
feel about this? 


Challenges to Abou's Jesus 

Loren Entz 

Abou Traore was not a traditional 
sorcerer, the kind who regulates daily 
events in a small, traditional village. 
Rather he worked hand in hand with 
the Muslim leaders in larger towns of 
Burkina Faso. As a Muslim, Abou 
knew the secrets involved in sorcery. 
He possessed names of five evil spirits, 
each written in Arabic on special indi- 
vidual papers. He had given the equiv- 
alent of hundreds of dollars to obtain 
these names. They were the source of 
his special power. He was a Muslim 

Whenever the Muslim leader was 
approached by someone willing to pay 
for help in getting revenge or perhaps 
desiring a certain woman or wanting 
to make money, Abou was called to 
help "make it happen." Abou did 
whatever necessary to manipulate the 
evil spirits to do their work. After- 
wards Abou and his Muslim colleague 
would split the profit. Both managed 
comfortable lifestyles in the Orodara 

But one day Abou took those valu- 
able papers, tore them to pieces, dug a 
hole with a hoe and buried all those 
fragments. Only three days before he 
had felt God calling him to follow "the 
Jesus road." He had listened to a cas- 
sette tape giving the testimony of an 
ex-Muslim leader who had experienced 
salvation in Jesus Christ. Abou found 
that the message "broke his heart" as 
well. He knew he had to give himself 
to Jesus. For five days he agonized. He 
felt he was being chased until he gave 
up and found peace with Jesus. 

For a month Abou suffered from 
what he called a cleansing experience, 
one of repentance. Doctors would have 
called it hepatitis, but Abou saw it as 
a time of getting rid of all the evil he 
had done. All along Abou had known 
what was right and what was wrong. 
He had consciously been doing the 
wrong and now believed God brought 
this illness for a purpose. During the 
month of cleansing, missionaries from 
the Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission in 
Orodara came to sit and pray and read 
the Bible with him. 

It soon became obvious that Abou 
wanted to share his faith with others. 
So the missionaries spent many hours 
teaching him, using audiovisual mate- 
rials or simply reading long portions of 
the Bible to him, all of which he loved 
and remembered. He began showing 
the pictures to others, playing the 
cassette tapes of messages and testi- 
monies, and telling the Bible stories to 
his Muslim friends in town. He also 

Abou, center, is being baptized by two lay 
brothers from the Burkina Faso church. 

experienced visions which told him 
how and where to share his testimony. 
He became an excellent evangelist, 
telling the gospel story with pictures 
and informally answering questions 
out of his experience. The radical 
change in his life was the most power- 
ful witness. He was full of joy and 
people saw it. 

Soon villages beyond Orodara heard 
of a changed Abou and asked him to 
come. He was invited to his own peo- 
ple, the Samogho people. 

One night elders who were fetishers 
invited Abou in order to test him. Was 
the power of his Jesus greater than 
their fetish occult power? First they 
tried to poison him with food, but 
Abou found victory over that as he 
offered a prayer of thanks before he 
partook of the food. God showed him- 
self to be Abou's right hand and he 
suffered no ill effects. 

Then the elders took him to their 
sacred grounds late that night. Abou 
was placed beside a huge gaping hole. 
The six elders sat on the other side of 
the hole. Fire escaped from the hole. A 
special whistling brought poisonous 
bees from the pit to do their evil work 
against Abou but again with no suc- 
cess. Abou could not be stopped. 

They had one test left— a test which 
no one else had ever escaped. The old 
men whistled a second time and a 
huge snake about 18 inches in diame- 
ter emerged. It came toward Abou. It 
tried to push him into the pit as count- 
less others before him had been 
pushed in and disappeared. But the 
snake could only brush his leg. The 
snake itself fell into the pit. There was 
no doubt whose power was greater- 
God's power working through Abou or 
that of the fetishes through the village 
elders. The rest of the night Abou 
preached of Jesus to them until day- 

break, when he returned to Orodara. 

Later that day Abou received a letter 
from a powerful sorceress in the same 
village telling him one of the elders 
had died and the other five were sick. 
She asked Abou to come and preach to 
a group of sorceresses. Actually she 
wanted to see if Abou's power was 
greater than theirs. The women claim 
their sorcery powers to be greater than 
the fetish power of the men. They nat- 
urally thought Jesus' power should be 
tested with the strongest force known 
to them— sorcery. 

Abou shared this letter from the 
sorceress with his missionary friends 
in Orodara. Though the missionaries 
were apprehensive, Abou was willing 
to face another night of confrontation. 
All three prayed together fervently to 
commission Abou to go and represent 
Jesus in the midst of great evil. 

Fatimata, the chief sorceress, met 
Abou when he arrived. The whole 
group of 46 sorceresses accompanied 
him to their sacred place by the 
stream where they too tried to kill 
Abou. Again Abou was the victor in 
Jesus' power, and again the rest of the 
night was filled with preaching. Abou 

Abou enjoys the two Entz children- 
Zachary and Mariam. 


APRIL 8, 1986 

shared his testimony, told Bible stories 
and showed pictures telling the gospel 
story. God's Word reached the most 
powerful people of the village that 

One week later Fatimata became ill 
and was rushed to the hospital in the 
city. Through her sickness and the 
willing help of a total stranger she 
realized that God was calling her. God 
wanted her to live. He had work for 
her, the most influential person in the 
village, to do. She gave herself to 
Christ and began reading the Bible. 

Meanwhile, in a neighboring Sa- 
mogho village, a woman named Ma- 
koura heard what had happened. She 
heard that Abou's power from Jesus 
was greater than that of the sorceress. 
So she also invited Abou, supposedly 
to preach, but in reality to destroy 
him. Her power was not simply sorcery 
power. Her source of power was that of 
a special evil spirit which had enabled 
her to kill hundreds of people through 
the years. 

Abou did not know Makoura was the 
most powerful person in the region, 
nor was he afraid to go meet her. So 
again Abou was sent to represent Je- 
sus to Makoura. The AIMM mission- 
aries prayed for him and sent him on 
his way. 

This trip was made on a borrowed 
bicycle. Abou carried a tape player, 
cassette tapes, Bible pictures and a 
change of clothes. Suddenly, with an 
explosive noise, the bicycle burst into 
flames. Abou miraculously escaped 
unharmed with the Christian teaching 
materials, but everything else burned. 
Even sand wouldn't put out the fire 
immediately. So Abou continued on 
foot to his destination. 

Upon his arrival Makoura exclaimed, 
"What are you doing here? You are 
supposed to be dead." 

Abou answered, "You invited me, 
and I've come with the power of Je- 
sus." Abou was invited to share this 
source of power with Makoura. He 
spent the night in the house of the evil 
spirit, which was no longer able to live 
there. It had not been victorious in the 
power encounter with Abou's Jesus. 

Several days later Makoura got news 
that her evil spirit, which normally 
took on the form of a snake, had been 
sighted dead in the bush. On Ma- 
koura's arrival the snake's corpse ac- 
cused her of giving it an assignment 
that was too difficult to do. Makoura 
lost control of herself. She was going 
mad and started confessing all the evil 
she had done— which was considerable. 

Abou shares in a time of fellowship with a retired nurse (and unidentified child) and 
AIMM missionary Donna Entz. 

Her family quickly made arrange- 
ments for her to be removed, fearing 
she would reveal too many secrets. At 
great expense they sent her to a dis- 
tant village far to the north, where her 
oldest son lived. 

Thirty years earlier Makoura was 
instructed to sacrifice her firstborn son 
in order to gain the power of the evil 
spirit. When the boy learned of this 
evil plan, he ran away to Bobo 
Dioulasso and later went to school at 
Tougan. In the meantime his mother 
completed the occult compact by sacri- 
ficing her co-spouse's child to receive 
the power. 

Makoura's son had become a Chris- 
tian in the intervening years of being 
separated from his mother. Now he 
was the pastor of a Christian church. 
Here she was in his village, where she 
regained her senses. Together with 
several others from her home village, 
Makoura made a commitment to 
Christ. Extensive teaching followed in 
the Samagho mother tongue as son 
taught mother and the other relatives 
who had come. 

When Abou became a Christian, he 
thought he was the only Christian 
from his ethnic group— the Samogho. 
He gave himself to learning and study 
as well as sharing his faith. God chose 
to confront the spiritual powers and 

spiritual authority structures in the 
villages, working through Abou. Little 
did Makoura's son know that he too, 
though isolated as the first Samogho 
Christian, was being prepared through 
these many years to share the Chris- 
tian faith with his mother and eventu- 
ally with the rest of the Samogho 

Abou continues to need the prayer 
support of other Christians. He faces 
great pressures from those engaged in 
the occult activities. For the people 
abandoning sorcery to "follow the Je- 
sus road" it means the loss of their 
livelihood, since the practice of sorcery 
can also be quite lucrative and presti- 
gious. With limited resources and 
shortage of missionary personnel with 
adequate time for discipling, the ade- 
quate training and grounding in the 
faith for people like Abou is difficult. 

How tragic it would be for the 
church in Burkina Faso if the power of 
Christ, already demonstrated in the 
life of Abou, were to be diminished, 
not by the spirits but because Chris- 
tians were too busy to pray and to 
make Christian nurture available. 

Loren Entz, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd., 
Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4, is an AIMM 
missionary currently on North America 



Wholistic prayer 

Earth & Altar: The Community of 
Prayer in a Self-Bound Society by 

Eugene H. Peterson (Paulist Press, 
1985, 180 pages) 

Reviewed by Richard K. Early, 28 
Franklin Ave., Souderton, PA 18964 

One gets a strong sense immediately 
in reading Earth & Altar that the 
exercise of prayer by Christians, par- 
ticularly those located in North Amer- 
ica, will remedy the multitude of 
social, economic and spiritual prob- 
lems we face. 

Selecting 11 Psalms that molded the 
community of Israel, Peterson begins 
with Psalm 2. Here he issues a plea 
for prayer as a common ground where 
"social and spiritual activists" can 
meet. Doing a convincing job at dem- 
onstrating the difference between pri- 
vate and corporate prayer, he contends 
that prayer unites and stops those 
forces that seem bent on destruction. 

In each chapter Peterson stresses 
that self must submit to the authority 
and sovereignty of God. He is not only 
capable of executing judgment on indi- 
viduals but on nations as well. Prayer 
enables both the individual self and 
the corporate self (government, com- 
munity) to recognize as well as under- 
stand their need for and dependence 
on the Lord. 

Peterson writes, "God has made it 
clear that he is not content to rescue a 
few souls from damnation. Redemption 
has been conceived on a scale far ex- 
ceeding our capacity to comprehend 
it— a new heaven and a new earth are 
involved. People who pray find them- 
selves involved both with the king who 
is establishing his rule in the cosmos 
and the priest who is setting persons 
right before God." 

What makes Earth & Altar worth- 
while reading is the masterful way the 
author presents the practice of prayer 
in the community of believers as a 

Housekeeper wanted 

Housekeeper— light maintenance, 

year-round voluntary service position. 

For more information contact: 
Curt Bechler 
Camp Friedenswald 
15406 Watercress Drive 
Cassopolis, Ml 49031 
(616) 476-2426. 

strategy to bring change in all areas of 
life. Few books offer its readers as 
wholistic a view of prayer as this one. 


Central American journal 

Steadfastness of the Saints by Dan- 
iel Berrigan (Orbis, 1985, 133 pages) 

Reviewed by Richard McSorley, Center 
for Peace Studies, Georgetown Univer- 
sity, Washington, DC 20057 

This is Daniel Berrigan's journal of 
peace and war in Central America 
during a three-week visit. At the end 
he writes, "I would be a fonder fool 
than report allows, were I to think 
that easy answers were at hand to the 
questions these weeks have raised." 

Primary among the questions is 
what a believer in gospel non-violence 
would say about military resistance to 
the contras. He does not answer the 
question directly, but alludes to it 
when he comments on the unity of the 
Jesuits in Nicaragua. He notes how 
precarious the subject matter of "love 
your enemies" becomes. 

He tells of the places he lived and 
the people he met. He connects the 
experiences to his past and to his fu- 
ture hopes and fears. 

Berrigan contrasts the Nicaraguan 
bishops' distance from the poor with 
the Salvadoran bishops' closeness to 
them. He points out the dichotomy 
between U.S. support of the murderous 
Salvadoran government and U.S. oppo- 
sition to the government of Nicaragua, 
which has the support of the peasants. 

Berrigan relates everything he sees 
and hears to his own experiences and 
to that of his friends jailed in the 
United States for opposing the Viet- 
nam War and the nuclear buildup. He 
never loses sight of the relationship 
between the "megadeath" policies 
adhered to by the U.S. government and 
the mutilated corpses left on the 
plains in Central America. 

He chronicles his day-to-day experi- 
ences of his journey from the United 
States (the Land of Unknowing) 
through El Salvador and Nicaragua, 
where he witnessed the effects of death 
squads and contra attacks. As he looks 
and listens to the steadfastness of the 
saints, the poor, the victims, he ad- 
mires their faith, their courage, their 
inextinguishable hope, their refusal to 
disappear and to be silent. 

Christian pacifism 

Against the Nations by Stanley 
Hauerwas (Winston Press, 1985, 208 

Reviewed by Gordon Houser, assistant 

Subtitled War and Survival in a Lib- 
eral Society, this book of essays seems 
designed for scholars— ethicists and 
theologians— yet it has much to say to 
the general reader. 

Hauerwas is a Protestant who has 
taught at a Catholic school and is 
deeply influenced by Mennonite John 
Howard Yoder. Throughout his recent 
books (He's a prolific fellow) he has 
argued for a Christian ethic that sees 
the church as the locus for "God's 
story." He is perhaps, besides Yoder, 
the most articulate spokesman for 
Christian pacifism. At the root of this 
pacifist belief is "the recognition that 
it is not our task to make history come 
out right . . . history has already come 
out right and just because it has we 
can take the time in a world threat- 
ened by its own pretensions of control 
to seek patiently a truthful peace." 

Against the Nations expands his 
viewpoint to a number of areas. He 
moves from general themes of "Keep- 
ing Theological Ethics Theological" 
and "Keeping Theological Ethics 
Imaginative" to applying these themes 
to the Holocaust, Jonestown, the real- 
ity of the kingdom, the reality of the 
church, the democratic state, disarma- 
ment and nuclear war. 

Hauerwas is nothing if not thought 
provoking. He is unafraid to tackle 
difficult issues, and he does so in a 
thorough fashion. Unfortunately his 
writing can become difficult to follow. 

At a time when some Mennonite 
thinkers seem to be sliding from a 
solidly pacifist commitment, it is 
ironic yet good to find a non-Menno- 
nite speak so eloquently and forth- 
rightly for a Christian pacifist ethic. 


APRIL 8, 1986 


Growth in the body 

Congregations are strengthened when children are nur- 
tured, youth are encouraged, adults are equal and inter- 
generational interaction is reinforced. 

Children in the congregation are nurtured when: 
N oticed with a smile and known by name 
U understood, grateful for explanations and consideration 
R egarded as welcome and included in worship 
T hought of as members of the church family 
U seful, finding Scripture passages, giving the offering, 

locating hymn pages, singing in children's choir 
R esponding to God 

E ncouraged to sit with extended family and adult friends 

for part of the worship service 
D edicated to God. 

Youth in the congregation are encouraged when: 
E ach is known by name 
N on-competitive activities foster group effort 
C amping and conference programs are promoted by adults 

0 pportunity is backed with support 
U nderstanding is practiced 

R easons are given 

A dults energetically give of their time 

G roup activities are intergenerational 

E xperiences of service are provided 

D eeds of God's love and action are shared by the adults. 

Adults in the congregations are equal when: 
E ach is recognized for one's gift and given opportunity to 

Q uestioning is accepted from both male and female, sin- 
gle or married, in search of a better way 

U nderstanding that in Christ there is neither male nor 
female, that ascribed roles and tasks may be cultural 

A 11 are known by their given name 

L earning and studying together instead of in segregated 

Intergenerational interaction in the congregation is rein- 
forced when: 

R eviewing together the past and looking ahead to the 

E nergy is spent: MCC canner, MCC sale, visiting, 

1 nfluencing and being influenced 

N eeds of all age groups are discussed and acted upon 

F riends are of all ages 

O pen communication exists 

R egardless of age there is 
giving and receiving 

C ommunity of faith is dis- 

E vents are attended by all 

D ividing the work to be 

Lois Thieszen Preheim 


To be born again into the Easter family is life's most beautiful new 
beginning. But it is a beginning and therefore requires nurture. 

Evangelism without follow-up education can become spiritual 
abuse. It is a serious tragedy in many churches. 

The General Conference Mennonite Church has three program 
commissions. Our Commission on Education is charged with the 
significant challenge of providing nurture resources in our congre- 
gations. It is a vital mission. This issue is dedicated to promoting 
our vision for COE ministries. 

Parenting in the faith family 146 

We believe in being born again 148 

Love and discipline your children 150 

The unusual man 151 

Will our faith have children? 152 

Family devotions 153 

News 154 

Ontario conferences to integrate 154 

Regier to coordinate WM 155 

Mennonite Health Association tackles issues 156 

Record 160 

Letters 163 

Challenges to Abou's Jesus 164 

Wholistic prayer 166 

Central American journal 166 

Christian pacifism 166 

Growth in the body 167 

The echo of loneliness 168 


A special thank you to the Commission on Education staff who 
helped us with creating this issue. Myrna and Randy Krehbiel 
serve as secretaries for family life education. Paula Diller Lehman 
is the secretary for youth education. Rosella Wiens Regier is sec- 
retary for children's education. Other staff shared in the family 
devotions article (see photo on p. 153). 

Helmut Harder, 600 Shaftesbury, Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 
0M4, is professor of theology at Canadian Mennonite Bible Col- 
lege. Helmut has done much work with the Commission on Educa- 

Lois Thieszen Preheim, Route 3, Box 94, Aurora, NE 68818, is 
an elected member of the Commission on Education. 


Cover, 146, 148, John Hiebert; 150, 152, RNS; 151, Kunstverlag, 
Abtei Effal Oby.; 153, COE; 154, Joel Wiebe; 156, Bernie Wiebe; 
157, Edmund Pries; 158, David Hiebert; 159, COM; 164-165, 
Loren Entz; 167, Margaret Lorraine Hudson, 4247 N. Thorne Ave., 
Fresno, CA 93704. 


Editor: Bernie Wiebe 
600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4 / (204) 888-6781 

Assistant editor: Gordon Houser 
722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 / (316) 283-5100 

Editorial assistant: Sharon Sommer 
Art director: John Hiebert 
The Mennonite is a member of the Associated Church Press, 
Evangelical Press Association and Meetinghouse (a Mennonite 
and Brethren in Christ editors' group). It is an associate member of 
the Canadian Church Press. 

Business manager: Dietrich Rempel. Circulation secretary: Marilyn Kauf- 
man. Special editions editors: Central District, Evelyn Krehbiel, 229 Brook- 
wood, Bluffton, OH 45817; Pacific District, Carol Peterson, Box 338. Upland, 
CA 91785; Western District, Debbie Huxman, Box 306, North Newton, KS 
67117; Window to Mission, Lois Deckert, 122 W. Dayton Yellow Springs 
Road, Apt. #4, Fairborn, OH 45324; and Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries, Richard A. Kauffman, 3003 Benham Ave. Elkhart, IN 46517. 




The echo of loneliness 

We are Easter people, people of the resurrection. We 
love celebration, especially of people experiencing 
new life. We have an inner drive and desire to be 
with people. We understand Peter, on the Mount of 
Transfiguration, wanting to build booths (Matthew 
17:1-8). He experienced the presence, the fellowship 
of Jesus, Moses and Elijah. To him this seemed like 
heaven on earth and he wanted it permanent. 

But the Easter parade is over. The crowds have dis- 
persed. And in the stillness many feel the echoing 
chorus, "Alone, alone ... he bore it all alone ... he 
suffered, bled and died . . . alone." 

Loneliness is a stillness that wants to scream. It is 
an emptiness that threatens to explode. To be alone 
is to feel utterly forsaken— even by God (Matthew 
27:46). Your insides rebel in anger and frustration. 
There are 4.7 billion people in the world. Why do I 
feel as if I'm the only inhabitant on this planet? 

It is among young people too. One student said, 
"They are them and belong together. Most people 
have a we to belong to. I am alone." That feels like 
an "it." 

The patient in the large hospital says, "I see a blur 
of movement all day— doctors, nurses, visitors, ma- 
chines. But I feel nothing, see nobody and hear only 
noise. I'm tired and I long for release from my lonely 


A newcomer to the city visits our church a number 
of times. One day we meet on the street. He says, 
"I've been slipping into the worship services. I've 
stood around during the breaks. Yes, some have 
pressed my hand, engaged my tongue and inquired of 
my cultural geography. But I have not yet met one 
person in your church. I've been a lonely stranger." 

The couple told of their dilemma. An aged grand- 
parent vegetating in a comatose state. She had been 
so beautiful, so precious. Long ago she had told them 
that when her time came, "please let me die in peace 
and dignity." Now they had many consultations with 
the medical staff. Finally, in the solitude of their 
prayers, they found peace to let go. No more heroic 
measures to sustain a decaying corpse. With tears in 
their eyes they confessed, "But we couldn't tell any- 
body in our church." In the body of Christ— and des- 
perately lonely. 

Loneliness remains the number one dis-ease— even 
in our churches. It is tragic. When we make a deci- 
sion to follow Christ and become part of his body, 
that should be the last act you and I ever have to do 
alone. From that point on, we are part of the body of 
Christ. We are members one of another. Our lives are 
covered by Jesus' life-giving love for all people. That 
love continues to all and in all. He will not leave or 
forsake us— ever. 

We desperately need the nurture programs of the 
Commission on Education. In Marriage Encounter 
weekends many couples have discovered ways to 
bridge their loneliness. Through the Faith and Life 
Bible studies new and dynamic connections have 
been found. COE helps us find courage to break the 
chains of our isolation. It also challenges us to re- 
move our insulation against other people. 

The runaway girl wept profusely. She needed her 
family. But she could still hear the frustrated scream 
of her father, "Don't ever come back." We talked of 
our being, our incompleteness without God and 
without other people. We agreed this is a universal 
dilemma. I assured her that parents are no excep- 
tion—in spite of stupid statements we make when 
angry. She confessed her own statements had also 
often been tough. 

She accepted the offer to use my office telephone. I 
left for a few minutes. I could feel the reluctant yet 
eager fingers touching the digits on the dial. The 
buzz of the connection. A pulse wanting to jump out 
of her body. Awkward words of greeting. And. . . . 

There was no shout of joy. Finally I opened the door. 
She sat totally immersed in her loneliness— eyes too 
wept out for any signs of wetness. "Dad says I can't 
come; he doesn't believe I mean it." Then she clung 
desperately to my shoulder, an unspoken begging not 
to give up on her. My tears flooded out. 

"It's not an easy road we travel together," says the 
popular song. The Easter road is a victory road. But 
the echoes of loneliness remain. We must help one 
another to keep walking, talking, searching, risking, 
forgiving, loving. (P.S. I wouldn't share the above 
story if it had not come out OK in the end. She is 
today restored to her family. But the journey was 
slow and rough.) Bernie Wiebe 



APR 28 "80 

101:08 APRIL 22, 1986 

Resolving marriage conflict 

J. Andrew Stoner 




David and Vera Mace, world-renowned leaders in Marriage Enrichment, 
suggest that in order for a marriage to grow more meaningful and 
| fulfilling, a couple needs to develop a method for resolving conflict. 
Conflicts, left unresolved, will result in distance, alienation, deep 
emotional injury and decreasing intimacy. Conversely, when a couple 
develops patterns for resolving conflicts, they will inevitably be open- 
ing their relationship to increased intimacy and closeness. What 
about conflicts in marriage? How can they be used to a positive 
advantage in building a marriage? 

Conflicts will be what you either allow them to be or 
make them to be. It is best to choose to see them as op- 
portunities, thus making them stepping-stones toward 
intimacy and understanding. They can be seen as oppor- 
tunities to learn something new about your spouse, 
about yourself, about your environment and about your 
marriage relationship. To be willing to mutually work 
at resolving conflicts is an expression of love in itself 
and demonstrates a strong commitment to the other. 

Often surface conflicts represent deeper dimensions of 
concern than the specific area of the conflict suggests. 
For example, a conflict over whose responsibility it is to 
keep the checkbook balanced may be a struggle for 
power or control. Sometimes present conflicts may 
have their roots in differing role models observed as 
children growing up, and the people just pre- 
supposed that was the way all marriages were to 
be. Thus, with differing models in mind, a 
conflict was unavoidable. Or a conflict can 
be a means of shielding one from a 
point of vulnerability or intimacy. 
When one senses the other getting too 
close or becoming more truthful 
than one wants to become, it is 
easy to find an issue over which 
to conflict to insure that dis- 
tance is maintained and inti- 
macy avoided. Be careful to look 
beneath the surface to identify 
underlying issues of serious 
f proportions, instead of focusing 
only on conflicts themselves. 
IP Conflicts are always bilateral in 
W nature. Actions are unilateral, and 
many times a change by one person 
may divert a conflict. But by definition 
a conflict involves at least two differing 
opinions. Therefore, in resolving a 
conflict a couple must see it as "their" 
problem, not just that of one or the 

In resolving conflicts, couples must see them 
as their problems, not just his or hers. 

other. If seen as a mutual problem, the 
solution will also have a mutuality. Of 
course, this implies a presupposition 
that both are willing to work at resolv- 
ing the conflict and both are commit- 
ted to the marriage relationship. To 
see conflicts from a standpoint of mu- 
tuality also enables each person to 
have a share in the credit for resolving 
it, thus building unity between them. 

It is helpful to remember that the 
process a couple goes through in re- 
solving conflicts is just as important as 
the end result. If the focus is on the 
result, there is too much possibility for 
seeing it from a winner-or-loser per- 
spective. (I win this time, you win 
next.) If we reduce our conflict resolu- 
tions to a win-lose scorecard, we aren't 
really resolving any conflicts. It is a 
disguised attempt at control and domi- 
nation. Rather both husband and wife 
must be more concerned about what 
happens to both of them and their 
marriage relationship in the process of 
resolving a conflict. In other words, 
attempt to see the forest— the total 
picture— and not just the trees or indi- 
vidual conflicts. 

Furthermore, it is not enough to 
spiritualize conflicts. There is a temp- 
tation to think that praying about 
differences will cause them to disap- 
pear or that you'll be able to find a 
specific biblical answer to each con- 
flict, thus always finding a perfectly 
acceptable solution. It just doesn't 
work that way. For instance, if trying 
to decide which family a couple will 
visit at Christmas, his or hers, one 

will be hard pressed to find a biblical 
solution. In many conflicts it seems 
our Creator says we are to use our 
common sense and our reasoning abili- 
ties to reach a mutually acceptable 
solution. The most important thing to 
remember is that both be concerned 
about displaying a Christlike attitude 
in the process of resolution. This is 
where our Christian faith can make an 
enormous difference in our marriage. 

There are some not-so-healthy re- 
sponses to conflict which are regularly 
used. One is to attempt to avoid it, to 
run away from it. This works for a 
while, but is not a solution. Another is 
to deny that there is any conflict. The 
belief is that if one proclaims it loud 
and long enough, you'll convince your- 
self and others that conflicts are no 
problem. Another common one is to 
suppress it or just keep silent in hopes 
it will all go away. Sometimes it does. 
But that is not a resolution and it 
bypasses the possibilities for intimacy. 
But the response which bothers me 
most, especially in Christian circles, is 
the martyr complex, or the "peace-at- 
all-costs" philosophy, which requires 
one person to be the doormat, to acqui- 
esce and go along with what the other 
wants in order to minimize conflicts. 
This often carries a biblical injunction 
for submission, usually by the wife. 
The Bible speaks of submission, but it 
is a mutual, willing, loving submission 
built into the process of conflict resolu- 
tion in which there is no concern for 
power, domination or control over the 
other person and in which each person 


APRIL 22, 1986 

esteems the other as highly as they 
wish to be valued. 

How then can a conflict be resolved? 
Here are five steps to follow: (1) Dif- 
fuse it. Look at it in such a way that 
both can win— without losing either 
dignity or identity. Maybe all one 
needs is time— 10 minutes, two hours, 
a day— to pull back from the highly 
charged emotional edge of the conflict 
so as to be able to talk about it realis- 
tically, honestly and objectively. Seek 
the most profitable time and manner 
in which to resolve the conflict. 

2. Define it. Clearly indicate what 
the conflict is all about— no more and 
no less. Be honest in seeking agree- 
ment about what the conflict is. Often, 
if that much agreement is reached, the 
conflict isn't nearly as crucial or im- 
portant. By all means don't drag in 
other peripheral issues which cloud 
the discussion or antagonize. 

3. Discuss it. Discuss all sides as 
dispassionately as possible. Seek, 
above all, to understand the other's 
point of view, regard the other's feel- 
ings and try to find a mutually agree- 
able compromise. Often the point of a 
conflict is the desire to be heard and 
understood. Once that need is met, the 
conflict pales in importance. 

4. Decide it. If the first three steps 
have been followed, rarely is this step 
impossible. By this time, both people 
are aware of what should be done, 
especially if there has been a mutual 
desire for the Spirit of God to direct 
the process. Prayer should have been 
an integral part of each step. If there 

still seems to be no clear direction, ask 
two further questions: First, does there 
need to be an immediate answer? 
Maybe the best solution is no answer 
at the present. Let time and provi- 
dence help decide the issue. Secondly, 
if an immediate decision is required, to 
whom can you go for objective advice? 
Often a mutually trusted person or 
group can be of incalculable value in 
getting you through the process. Be 
certain there is mutual agreement 
about what the decision ultimately is. 
It is possible to come this far, but with 
differing perceptions on what was fi- 
nally agreed upon, only to have it all 
erupt later in a larger conflict. 

5. Drop it. After a conflict is re- 
solved, both should incorporate the 
learnings into their lives. Celebrate 
the occasion with a deepening of open- 
ness and intimacy between yourselves. 
Express appreciation for the process 
you've just experienced. Drop the 

If it is brought up again, it hasn't 
been resolved. This is where forgive- 
ness comes into focus. Forgiveness is 
the willingness to drop the issue, to no 
longer seek redress or revenge nor to 
continue the conflict in such a way as 
to hurt the other person no matter 
how often the opportunity arises. 

Diffuse, define, discuss, decide, then 
drop it. Five steps in resolving con- 
flicts to increase intimacy and 
strengthen the marriage relationship. 
Conflict poses the opportunity to im- 
prove or to destroy intimacy in a mar- 
riage. The choice is yours. • 

Forgiveness means to drop the issue and not 
bring it up again, no matter how often 
you have opportunity to do so. 


Elfrieda Neufeld 

nj u ry 
is a 

On Nov. 2, 1985, Jeremy Rempel, 14, 
was presented with an award by the 
town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., for 
his efforts in track and field competi- 
tion for physically disabled athletes. 
The son of Ray and Elsie Rempel, 
Jeremy has moved out of the unsure 
world of enormous physical and men- 
tal impairment to overcome major 
injuries and handicaps. This has re- 
sulted in breaking records for almost 
every athletic event he has entered in 
the past year. 

On Aug. 27, 1980, just two days after 
his ninth birthday, Jeremy was riding 
his bike with two friends while wait- 
ing for the rest of his birthday party 
guests to arrive. He was struck down 
by a pickup truck— rendering him un- 
conscious. The impact of the blow 
jarred his brain, causing it to swell. 
After the removal of a massive blood 
clot, the swelling continued. It forced 
the removal of a section of bone mea- 
suring 4.3 inches x 5.5 inches from 

Jeremy Rempel 
displays his "I'm 
gonna win" spirit as 
he wheels along. 

just above his eyes to the middle of his 
skull. Jeremy's condition improved in 
spite of having to battle with internal 
bleeding, a collapsed lung and 
meningitis. He showed the first signs 
of consciousness late in September. 
The 9-year-old youngster was para- 
lyzed and unable to speak. He was 
diagnosed as having suffered massive 
permanent impairment. Jeremy's 
parents and sisters Sheri and Kim 
agonized as the once bright and enthu- 
siastic sports participant struggled to 
live while doctors endeavored to put 
his body together again. 

So many friends, relatives and neigh- 
bors phoned to offer help that it 
prompted Sylvia Wiens, a close friend, 
to organize a bedside brigade. Approxi- 
mately 30 individuals were given a 
scheduled visiting time to drive to the 
hospital in Hamilton six days a week. 
Jeremy was touched, talked to and 
given affection and stimulation needed 
to aid him in learning to talk and 
move again. They would read stories, 
tell jokes, sing songs and ask questions 
in an effort to get Jeremy to show 
some response. Vivian Wiens, his Sun- 
day school teacher, read the lessons 
and stories she taught the rest of her 
students. The volunteer brigade, in- 
cluding at times whole families, would 
bring tapes of hockey games, hockey 
cards and a variety of foods to jolt his 
taste buds. With instructions from 
hospital staff they would rub his body 
with lotion and work his limbs and 
encourage him to move on his own. 
The brigade kept up the hospital visits 
for three months until Jeremy was 
able to go home. 

The visitors documented each step, 
however slight, of Jeremy's progress in 
a notebook. Sept. 24 reads: "I brought 
him the hockey magazine. Read a lit- 
tle, asked some questions. He slightly 
shook his head, but when I told him 
the Maple Leafs had beaten the Mon- 
treal Canadiens, he burst out in a big 

Oct. 1: "He really squeezed our 
hands today, scratched his knee and 
smiled. . . ." 

Oct. 4: Sister Sheri wrote, "Jer cried 
a little tonight. When I asked him if 
he was scared and confused, he 
squeezed my hands very tightly. I sort 
of held him up to me. Seemed to calm 
him down especially when I told him I 
was staying the night and wouldn't 
leave him." 

Oct. 13: "Jeremy said 'milk' and 'let 
go' when Cornie held his cup." 

The daily entries in this diary kept 
beside Jeremy's bed record the pil- 
grimage of a boy— with half his skull 
removed and part of his brain dam- 
aged—from darkness into light. It is 
the story of a family of God's children 


APRIL 22, 1985 

The Rempel family celebrated with Jeremy on Nov. 2, 1985, when he received the 
Niagara-on-the-Lake award. Left to right: Vic and Sheri Durksen, Elsie, Ray, Jeremy and 
Kim Rempel 

united in working together— showing 
compassion and love. 

Friends looking back remember a 
small-looking 9-year-old with a ban- 
daged head in a big hospital bed. Nu- 
merous tubes and machines were 
breathing for him, sustaining him and 
monitoring his very being. They re- 
member the awareness of Ray and 
Elsie's strength as they placed their 
son in God's hands. They marvel at 
the courage and dedication of Sheri, 
and Kim's acceptance of God's promise 
in what seemed like a hopeless 

Jeremy was able to return to his 
home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, but his 
recovery was far from complete. Head- 
injured people have a difficult road to 
travel. Aid to such individuals must go 
beyond a medical scope— concerned 
families and friends are needed in 
their ongoing recovery. Ray says, "In- 
creased medical sophistication has 
contributed to the problem. In the 
past, a large majority would have died. 
Today they are kept alive, and society 
stacks them aside in chronic-care 
homes. Our concern is that they can go 
on living." The physical and mental 
injuries causing brain damage are 
overwhelming, but the loss of self is 
almost unfathomable. The feelings of 
uselessness and unworthiness can be 
overcome only with help by family and 
friends. Jeremy's mother says he fre- 

quently asks, "Do you still love me?" 

The areas of the brain not damaged 
continue to operate as they did prior to 
the accident. The damaged areas ei- 
ther no longer function or do so in a 
dysfunctional manner. This creates an 
ongoing rediscovery crisis in the life of 
the head-injured person. Some of the 
probable frustration for Jeremy 
seemed evident in the Oct. 19 entry in 
his hospital diary: ". . . the nurse took 
Jer's blood pressure. He said it hurt 
and offered her a 'knuckle sandwich.' 
Then she apologized and he said, 'Say- 
ing sorry doesn't help some mistakes.' " 

"Our family has always been close," 
says Kim, Jeremy's 19-year-old sister. 
"Now the bond seems stronger through 
the experiences we've shared with 
Jer." Sister Sheri, recently married, 
says, "The past years sometimes seem 
like a dream mixed with good and bad 
feelings." Both Sheri and her husband, 
Vic, are keenly aware that while Jere- 
my's crisis period is in the past, his 
battle is far from finished. 

Ray and Elsie experience an ongoing 
grief process. "You mourn for the child 
who once was," says Elsie. "You go on 
with life, encouraging and sometimes 
insisting that family members carry 
on with personal lives even when it is 
sometimes easier to devote their whole 
time to Jeremy." Ray finds that the 
hardest part of all to face as a parent 
"is the realization that your kid will 

probably never be able to live indepen- 

Jeremy lives at home with his fam- 
ily. A home that had to be signifi- 
cantly rebuilt to accommodate his 
wheelchair and other conveniences in 
order for him to remain with his fam- 
ily. He attends school at the Niagara 
Peninsula Children's Centre in St. 
Catharines, Ont., where he also assists 
instructors and volunteers in encour- 
aging those students less fortunate. 
His bright, cheery disposition and 
keen sense of humor, existing already 
prior to his accident, have contributed 
to Jeremy being able to rise from the 
status of "one who constantly needs" 
to "one who gives." He has overcome 
seemingly unsurmountable handicaps 
to become a valuable member of the 
community— resulting in being nomi- 
nated Ontario Junior Citizen of the 

The Rempel family attributes much 
of Jeremy's development and recovery 
to his involvement in sports. He re- 
cently earned four gold medals in the 
Ontario Games for the Physically Dis- 
abled. While Jeremy's circle of fans is 
increasing, his biggest and most con- 
stant support comes from his immedi- 
ate family. A head injury is a family 
affair. Elsie says one of Jeremy's defi- 
ciencies is lack of inhibition. He says 
whatever comes to mind regardless of 
person or place. This frequently de- 
mands a lot of understanding. His 
short attention span needs constant 
prompting from his family for him to 
keep at whatever he is doing. 

During a particularly strenuous ex- 
ercise therapy, Jeremy told his nurse, 
"I wish I had never been in that truck 
accident." In spite of many frustra- 
tions and sometimes hopeless times, 
Jeremy's contagious grin and spark- 
ling blue eyes help the family cope. 
His "I'm gonna win" spirit is an ever- 
present sign of hope to the large circle 
of friends and family who come in 
contact with Jeremy Rempel. 

Note: Ray and Elsie Rempel are active 
in the local chapter of the Head Inju- 
ries Association of Canada. Their aim 
is to exchange ideas with professionals 
and families, helping to consolidate 
thinking and giving resources to those 
in similar situations. They invite any 
interested people to write in regard to 
support groups for head-injured vic- 
tims, their families and friends or just 
to share personal experiences. Write to: 
Ray and Elsie Rempel, Route 2, 
Townline Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, 
ON LOS 1J0. 

The Mennonite (ISSN 0025-9330) seeks to witness, teach, motivate and build the Christian fellowship within the context of Christian love and freedom under the guidance of the 
Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. It is published semimonthly by the General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. Subscription rates: one year, 
$1 4 50 U.S., $1 6.50 Canada; two years, $26 U.S., $29 Canada; three years, $35 U.S., $39 Canada. Foreign subscriptions add 50 cents per year to U.S. rate. Second class postage 
paid at Newton, KS, and additional mailing offices. Printed in U.S.A. POSTMASTER: Send Form 3579 to The Mennonite, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 



Can we face the AIDS dilemma? 

Daniel McCann Duffy 

We are sleeping through the AIDS 
alarm. It's time to wake up. 

During 1979 the AIDS virus infected 
an average of seven people each day. 
Today the AIDS virus infects more 
than 1,000 people daily. Of those in- 
fected each day, at least 300 will de- 
velop AIDS. Ninety percent of the 
victims are between the ages of 20 and 
49. No one diagnosed as having AIDS 
has lived longer than five years. There 
is no cure or vaccine. 

According to The Harvard Medical 
School Health Letter, "For every per- 
son in the United States who has 
AIDS or one of the related conditions, 
there are 40 to 50 who are carrying 
the virus but do not know it." People 
with the AIDS virus can spread AIDS 
even though they do not have AIDS 

An estimated 1-2 million Americans 
are currently infected with the AIDS 
virus. The National Cancer Institute 
in Washington has found that one- 
third of a group in New York City who 
showed signs of exposure to the virus 
in 1982 has since developed AIDS. 
Barring any unforeseen medical break- 
through, at least 300,000 Americans 
will contract AIDS in the coming five 
years. This is six times the number of 
Americans killed in combat during the 
Vietnam War. 

Some symptoms of AIDS are persist- 
ent swollen glands, headaches, recur- 
rent fever, night sweats, fatigue, 
weight loss and a dry cough. 

AIDS is not a "gay plague." Avail- 
able evidence indicates that AIDS is 
transmitted from person to person 
through blood, plasma, body organs 
and tissues, and semen. 

"No one diagnosed 
as having AIDS has 
lived longer than 
five years. There is 
no cure or vaccine. " 

High-risk group members include 
homosexuals, bisexuals, intravenous 
drug users, recipients of blood products 
and body organs, prostitutes and sex- 
ual partners of all these individuals. 
The last category appears to be AIDS 
"portal of entry" into the heterosexual 

The virus is transmitted from an 
infected male to a female primarily 
through the semen. The virus has also 
been documented to be spread from an 
infected woman to a man. A possible 
method of transmission is thought to 
be the woman's blood that can be in a 
woman's vagina from either her men- 
strual period or an abrasion. 

Infected prostitutes are believed to 
be rapidly spreading the AIDS virus in 
the heterosexual population. The Chi- 
cago Health Commissioner recently 
warned the public that "all people who 
utilize the services of male or female 
prostitutes are at risk of contracting 

In Africa, 10 million people are in- 
fected with the virus. The primary 
means of transmission is believed to be 
heterosexual contact. The ratio of male 
to female African AIDS victims is 
about even. 

AIDS is not the "wrath of God," as 
some have suggested by their use of 
biblical quotes. In the Bible, sickness 
is not equated with punishment. 

In the New Testament parable about 
Jesus and his disciples meeting a man 
who was born blind, his disciples 
asked Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this 
man or his parents, for him to have 
been born blind?" 

"Neither he nor his parents sinned," 
Jesus answered. "He was born blind so 


that the works of God might be dis- 
played in him" (John 9:1). 

When Mother Teresa opened a New 
York residence for AIDS patients on 
Christmas Eve, she said that each 
AIDS victim "is Jesus in a distressing 

Are not those who sanctimoniously 
watch and refuse to help people with 
AIDS actually contributing to the 
spread of AIDS? Those people should 
recall these words of Jesus Christ: 
"Why do you observe the splinter in 
your brother's eye and not the plank 
in your own?" (Matthew 7:3). 

When people speak of AIDS as the 
"wrath of God," they should ask them- 
selves what kind of God are they talk- 
ing about. After all, what kind of God 
afflicts blameless hemophiliacs and 
children with AIDS? AIDS leads to a 
horrible death. Most children with 
AIDS die from a combination of brain, 
skin and lung infections. 

In the United States the average 
AIDS patient spends a total of 167 
days in a hospital at a cost of 
$147,000. This cost is usually borne by 
the state and federal government. 
Therefore, treatment for the 300,000 
future AIDS patients could cost Ameri- 
can taxpayers $42 billion in 1990. 

In spite of these facts, Congress has 
allocated only $238 million for AIDS 
research for the 1986 fiscal year. And 
the president's 1987 proposed AIDS 
research budget asks for $195 million, 
$43 million less than the 1986 

Many of our nation's leaders are 
afraid to confront the AIDS challenge 
for fear their own sexuality and moral- 
ity might be questioned. 

We must courageously ask elected 
officials to enact a massive AIDS pub- 
lic education campaign. Education is 
the best vaccination. 

By acting with courage in the face of 
the AIDS challenge, we will protect 
the lives of millions and the productive 
and financial resources of our coun- 
tries. By showing compassion to the 
AIDS victims of today, we will prevent 
ourselves from being personal or eco- 
nomic AIDS victims of tomorrow. 

Daniel McCann Duffy, Box 1986, Bar- 
rington, IL 60011, is a graduate of the 
University of Wisconsin Law School. 


APRIL 22, 1986 

Tossing our stones— John 8:3-1 1 

Earl F. Cater 

The air in the temple was filled with 
dust and sweat. The silence of Jesus 
seared the intolerance of the Jewish 
leaders. I can almost hear the hair 
bristle on their necks, the uneasy shuf- 
fle of feet and the gasps of astonish- 
ment as Jesus ignored their question. 

First, perhaps a whisper from the 
back of the crowd, "I can't see. What 
in the Lord's name is he doing?" Then 
the response of shrugged shoulders. 
With a jerk of a raised hand another 
added, "I don't understand. He's not 
answering the elders. He is squatted 
there, writing on the ground with his 
finger." The murmur of voices debat- 
ing Jesus' most unusual behavior 
swelled to a crescendo of demands to 
respond to the charges brought against 
the woman taken in adultery. 

Jesus came to his feet and pointedly 
spoke simple words, "If any one of you 
is without sin, be the first to toss a 
stone at her." 

Silence choked the crowd. Jesus re- 
turned to his letters in the dust. The 
silence was broken only by the shuffle 
of feet and the hard thud of rocks 
dropped from trembling hands under 

Jesus and the woman were alone. 
Understanding grace and forgiveness 
were shared: "Neither do I condemn 
you, go and sin no more." 

Embarrassment and scorn were judg- 
ment enough for the woman taken in 
adultery. Jesus looked to her future 
more than her past. 

From our narrow human perspective, 
justice equals punishment. Our answer 
to the ills of society is judicial. To ac- 
cept a "fallen" neighbor, we demand 
wrong corrected. 

The response of Jesus is enough to 
cause the blood of solid citizens to boil. 
If she were a local schoolteacher we 
would declare her unfit to teach our 
children. If she were a minister's wife 
we would drive the entire family from 
town. If she were outside the church 
we would make her a matter of deri- 

If Jesus did this in our town we 
might be outraged and ask— no, de- 
mand—justice. For standards and for a 
clean Christian community. 

Jesus takes into account what the 
person could become if shown love and 
forgiveness. For this reason he coun- 


sels in Matthew 7:1-2, "Do not judge, 
or you too will be judged. For in the 
same way you judge others, you will be 
judged, and with the measure you use, 
it will be measured to you." 

We must not confuse our human 
need to see punishment executed with 
divine mission. We must not confuse 
love and forgiveness with approval. 
Jesus did not intimate approval of the 
woman's behavior. He did not leave the 
door open for the corruption of society. 
Rather he met human need with di- 
vine love. He granted forgiveness, 
which includes forgetting the error, 
forgetting the punishment and focus- 
ing on future potential. To her his 
words resound, "Go and sin no more." 

Forgiveness in the midst of abound- 
ing love is the outstanding characteris- 
tic of God that Jesus wants us to see. 
It is his hope that love and forgiveness 
would also be the outstanding charac- 
teristics in his followers. In Psalm 30:5 
David wrote, "His anger is but for a 
moment, his favor is for a lifetime." 
John 3:16 teaches us God gave his son 
that through belief we should not suf- 
fer negative justice but receive forgive- 

I visited an alcoholic woman to settle 
a domestic dispute. As I entered the 
squalid environs, the woman lunged at 
me with the words, "Don't you down 
me, preacher. Don't you down me." 
She had been frowned upon and walked 
around by her Christian neighbors for 
so long that her immediate fear of my 
presence was that I too would judge 

Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:17-19, 
". . . that you, being rooted and estab- 
lished in love, may have power, to- 
gether with all the saints, to grasp 
how wide and long and high and deep 
is the love of Christ, and to know this 
love surpasses knowledge— that you 
may be filled to the measure of all the 
fullness of God." This love is not 
cheap. It does not come in a box with 
ribbon or bow. This love comes by al- 
lowing the nature of Jesus so to fill 
our hearts that our view of others is 
filled with his mind and heart. 

This love ignores divorce, adultery 
and even homosexuality. It sees deep 
in the person the potential for becom- 
ing a creature of God's love. This sort 
of love reaches to the unlovely and 
holds out the same joy we have found 
in forgiveness. This love is divine in 
origin and is expressed for friend and 
foe alike through our Lord Jesus 

Is it possible for us to become genu- 
inely accepting, forgiving and loving? 
Is it possible for us to accept others- 
warts and all? Is it possible for Chris- 
tians to see in others potential and 
ignore past failure? 

I invite you along with myself to 
drop the stones we hold and quietly 
admit we are not without sin. I invite 
you along with myself to realize that 
the chief work of Jesus is to love as he 

Earl F. Cater is pastor of the Eden 
Mennonite Church, Route 1, Box 319, 
Inola, OK 74036. 

Tranquility in a frenzied world 

Karen D. Schmidt 

I had known in the morning that this 
was going to happen, and my car did 
not disappoint me. The clutch was 
slipping and I knew the result. First, 
the car would not begin to move if it 
were on even the slightest incline (for 
example, moving from a parking spot 
along the side of a street as I was at- 
tempting to do). Second, if I should 
manage to get the car moving, I would 
be lucky to have the transmission shift 
into second gear, third being beyond 

It was 3:45 p.m., the beginning of 
rush-hour traffic. Fortunately I was 
close to the outskirts of the city, with 
three lanes of traffic in either direction 
in the city and a four-lane highway 
most of the way to our hometown. I 
gave my car a push out onto the road, 
just over the middle hump (there are 
some advantages to driving small 
cars), stopping traffic from both sides 
while giving the drivers an embar- 
rassed grin of apology. I put on my 
flashers and slowly began to move 
down the street, hugging the curb and 
waving those behind me to pass. 

Suddenly I saw road construction 
ahead of me, blocking my lane. I had 

Do we take time to 
create the tranquility 
for growing 

just reached my maximum speed of 
nearly 20 mph and knew that if I were 
to stop now it would be difficult to get 
moving again. I turned on my signal 
for a lane change. The traffic was 
fairly heavy, but I noticed in my rear- 
view mirror that there was enough 
room in the third lane for the cars in 
the second lane to move over. So I 
waited for an opportune gap and sidled 
over into the middle lane. Several cars 
whipped past me and a few drivers 
honked. I felt a mixture of apology and 
anger. After all, this wasn't my fault, 
and I needed to get home too. 

Finally I decided I wouldn't get home 
any faster by being upset and that I 
might as well ignore the traffic around 
me. I became aware of scenes of late 
fall around me, the farmers working 
their land, the charred stripes of the 
fields from burnt straw and the won- 
derful, blue sky with its puffy, white 
clouds. As I limped down the highway 
enjoying the scenery, I was finally able 
to relax and let my mind slow down to 
suit my pace and ramble off on its own 
tangent. I recalled other times when I 
had been the impatient driver. Since 
my inclination is to apply my day-to- 

day experiences to life in general, I 
became aware of some of the parallels 
between this experience and my recent 

I have led a busy life, raising a fam- 
ily, studying and being involved in a 
number of church activities. 

A year and a half ago my hectic 
schedule had come to an abrupt stand- 
still. As the result of an illness I be- 
came a semi-invalid and was forced to 
withdraw from my studies, from 
nearly all my church involvement, 
including Sunday morning attendance, 
and even from most family activities. 
For many months I felt angry and 
depressed, blaming God for allowing 
this to happen and feeling uncertain 
about the future. 

Eventually my inherent impatience 
came to my rescue. Apparently God 
can even help us use some of our more 
negative qualities. I decided I had had 
enough self-pity and that I better use 
one of my few remaining resources, my 
time, to my advantage. My family and 
friends had been doing a lot of giving 
to me for quite a while. I needed to 
learn to appreciate this and to become 
aware of what I could give in return. 

The road of discovery has been en- 
lightening. Some of my discoveries 
have been more trivial. For instance, I 
learned that I like cats and country 
music, much to my husband's dismay 
and my children's delight. 

Some discoveries have been more 

I found renewed joy in parenting. My 
children had often been lost between, 
"Hurry up, I have to go to class" and, 
"I don't have time, I have to make 
supper." Now I had time to listen to 
their daily chatter about school, 
friends, hopes and disappointments. 
We have grown closer because of it. 

They have demonstrated a marvelous 
love and maturity that I would not 
expect of children their age. This took 
the form of nightly prayers for my 
health, helping uncomplainingly with 
the housework, giving backrubs and 
making pillows for me. 

I discovered in a new way the love of 
a husband who came home after a full 
day's work, made supper, cleaned 
house, did laundry, looked after the 
children's needs and still found it pos- 
sible to care about the wife whose 


illness made this hectic life necessary. 
This is the miracle of commitment, 
which is part of our marriage vows. 

I have learned of the power of prayer. 
Before my illness I had little faith in 
prayer to heal. However, I have experi- 
enced several times of improvement 
that coincided with the prayers of 
friends for my health. 

Through an enforced dependence on 
others, I experienced the value of 
friendship. I have been a self-sufficient 
person, having learned from the world 
around me that to be a worthwhile 
individual means I must manage my 
life by myself. Suddenly I needed help 
with all but the most basic tasks of 
living, and I felt I was a failure as a 
wife, mother, student and church mem- 
ber. This was brought home to me in a 

literal sense when several women from 
church came to clean the house. I felt 
embarrassed at the thought of some- 
one else seeing our mess. But caring 
for one another is an essential part of 
being a member of God's kingdom and 
so is accepting that caring. So I needed 
to swallow my inappropriate pride and 
appreciate their efforts on my behalf. 
This enabled me to acknowledge my 
dependence on my Creator and to ex- 
perience God's sustaining love. 

Now that I am on the road to at 
least partial recovery, I can see the 
past year and a half as a valuable 
lesson in priorities. One of the greatest 
resources God has given us is our 
time. We are responsible to use that 
time wisely, and that means each one 
of us must decide how we can best use 

our time. We must each choose what is 
most important. 

I found that I had been busy doing 
worthwhile things at the expense of 
my relationships to those around me. 

I would like to challenge the rest of 
the rush hour traffic around me to 
slow down, even if only for short times, 
and make sure that your priorities are 
where you would like them to be. 

And I would like to encourage others 
who are limping along not to equate 
busyness with fulfillment. Use your 
time to care for those near you. It can 
be a God-given opportunity to bring a 
little tranquility into a frenzied world. 

Karen D. Schmidt, Box 582, Niverville, 
MB ROA 1E0, is a member of Niver- 
ville Mennonite Church. 

l-do-noltunderstand poem 

Ruth Nay lor 

I do"' not* understand 
Why grown sons and daughters are 
So adverse to mothers' concerns, or 

Why mothers love to see their 
children come 
Yet are so glad to see them go. 

But most of all 

I do not understand how love can 
dwell so close to hurt, and 
How letting go is so much a part of 

When the house is newly empty. 

What I do understand 
Is that truth abides somewhere in 

And that the heart-womb wants to 

Its sons and daughters forever. 

Native Americans have a l-in-3 
chance of having diabetes, compared 
with the average American citizen's 
l-in-20 chance, according to the 
Friends Committee on National Legis- 
lation's Washington Newsletter. Native 
American students in junior and sen- 
ior high school have a nationwide 
dropout rate of 47 percent, and some 
22,000 homes, or one-third of all Na- 
tive American housing, lack adequate 
water and sewage facilities. 

Associated Mennonite Biblical Sem- 
inaries, Elkhart, Ind., is inviting 
applications for the second annual 
Lectureship Stipend for Women Gradu- 
ate Students for the school year 1987- 
88. The graduate stipend of approxi- 
mately $10,000 is intended to 
underwrite graduate-level research 
and part-time teaching at AMBS. Ap- 
plications for the September 1987-May 
1988 term have a deadline of July 30. 
Application instructions may be re- 
quested from Marie Clemens, chairper- 
son, Women's Advisory Committee, 
AMBS, 3003 Benham Ave., Elkhart, 
IN 46517-1999. 


General Conference looks ahead 

Major long-range plan to come to delegates 

Newton, Kan. (GCMC)— A major long- 
range plan will come for approval to 
triennial sessions of the General Con- 
ference Mennonite Church. The plan is 
the culmination of more than three 
years of work by conference leaders. 

In October 1982 the mood of the 
conference's General Board was some- 
what bleak. It faced a shortage of 
money to meet budget and a shortage 
of people to fulfill mission goals. 

In response to the situation, the 
board commissioned a special commit- 
tee with the following charge: (1) de- 
vise a process that will help uncover 
the underlying causes of the shortages 
and (2) construct a plan to resolve the 
problems and move the mission of the 
conference forward. 

That committee (which grew to in- 
clude representatives from regional 
conferences) was appropriately dubbed 
the "development committee." The 
name was appropriate because the 
concept of development involves the 
formulation and articulation of a clear 
statement of mission for an organiza- 
tion. It also involved constructing a 
plan for taking the steps needed to 
fulfill that mission. That's exactly 
what the committee set out to do. 

The first step was to do some evalua- 
tion of current conference programs 
and services and to discern what fu- 
ture needs might be. A series of con- 
gregational cluster meetings was held 
in the spring of 1985. At these 
meetings representatives from congre- 
gations did the evaluation and discern- 
ment needed to get started. 

The results of that series of meetings 

are extremely important for the sec- 
ond step— long-range planning. Many 
hours have been spent reviewing the 
purpose and goals of the General Con- 
ference and making specific plans for 
how to achieve those goals. 

The results of this development plan 
effort will be presented at triennial 
sessions in Saskatoon. Delegates will 
be asked to affirm evangelism as the 
top priority of the conference for the 
next three years. Delegates will also 
be asked to approve a plan for imple- 
menting this priority which will in- 

Pastor needed 

Hope Mennonite Fellowship, North Battleford, 
Sask., seeks the services of a pastor who has 
an interest in growing with a small, active 
congregation and reaching out to the 

Please submit resumes to: 
Pulpit Committee 
1901 -96th St. 

North Battleford, SK S9A 0J3. 

Teacher needed 

The Commission on Overseas Mission 

urgently invites applications for an elementary 
education teacher in Hwalien, Taiwan. The 
position is for two-three years, beginning in the 
fall of 1986. 

For information contact: 
Personnel Office 

Commission on Overseas Mission 
Box 347 

Newton, KS 67114 
(316) 283-5100. 

elude a major fund drive to finance 
evangelism programs as well as other 
important programs of the conference. 

We are calling ourselves and each 
other to renewed faith and new com- 
mitments of time, energy and money. 
Carol J. S uter 

Director of Youth Orientation Units 
in Southern Alberta required 

The Youth Orientation Units, serving MCC 
Alberta, invites applications for the above 
position. The Y.O.U. unit, modeled after the 
existing unit at Warburg, Alta., will operate a 
work-oriented program for the development of 
offenders between the ages of 15 and 17 in the 
Lethbridge area. 

The director will organize and supervise all 
aspects of the Y.O.U. program. He or she will 
give leadership and direction to personnel and 
act as liaison with the Y.O.U. board, 
government departments, MCC constituency 
and the local community. 

Qualifications include a genuine Christian 
concern for the physical and social 
development of young people in trouble with 
the law. Administrative ability, maturity and 
vision for the work are required. Education in 
social sciences and work experience in related 
fields of rehabilitation are preferred. 

Remuneration: salaried. 

Applications will be received until April 30. 

For further information contact or send 
complete resume, including references and 
pilgrimage of your faith, to: 

Abe Fast 

Box 1484 

Coaldale, AB T0K 0L0 
(403) 345-3078. 


APRIL 22, 1986 

Plant a tree this spring, says Art 
Meyer of the Mennonite Central Com- 
mittee U.S. Development Education 
office. Trees are not only beautiful, 
they provide building materials, furni- 
ture, paper, plywood, fiber board, fuel 
wood and many other products. Trees 
are also ecologically valuable. They 
absorb rainwater, provide atmospheric 
humidity, recycle carbon dioxide and 
produce oxygen. Trees protect delicate 
topsoils and provide habitat for plants 
and animals. Yet the world's trees are 
in serious trouble. Third World forests 
are disappearing at incredibly rapid 
rates. And reforestation is occurring at 
depressingly slow rates. 

The Christian education committee 
of the Conference of Mennonites in 
British Columbia will sponsor a 
Drama and Arts Festival at Peace 
Mennonite Church, Richmond, B.C., on 
June 14. Under the theme "Let Us 
Create for Our Creator," the festival 
will include exhibits of works of art as 
well as displays of the performing arts. 
Plans include seminars and workshops 
for children, adults and families. For 
information write Ken Hawkley, 10310 
143rd St., Surrey, BC V3T 4T3. 

Hubert Brown, a Mennonite pastor 
from Los Angeles, June Alliman Yoder, 
a seminary teacher from Elkhart, Ind., 
and a Christian band called Renais- 
sance are the main attractions for 
youth at Saskatoon '86. The triennial 
sessions of the General Conference are 
scheduled for July 21-27 at several 
locations in Saskatoon, the youth 
meeting at the university lecture 

MCC workers report heavy bombing in El Salvador 

Akron, Pa. (MCC)— "More bombing has 
taken place in the last three months 
than took place in the first four years 
of the [Salvadoran] war," writes Blake 
Ortman, Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee worker in El Salvador. 

While North American press reports 
are dominated by news of the war in 
Nicaragua, the war in El Salvador is 
in its seventh year. Ortman reports 
that Salvadorans fear the situation 
will continue to get worse. 

Nathan and Elaine Zook Barge, 
MCC workers near the capital, report 
that there has been consistent and 
heavy bombing of guerrilla-controlled 
areas near their town. During one five- 
hour period they counted 38 500-pound 
bombs dropped on the nearby Guazapa 

They write, "We watched with a 
displaced family who had a clear view 
of the mountain at the edge of town. 
They had a 13-day-old baby trying to 
sleep inside the champa (shack) in a 
hammock. The mother was very con- 
cerned because he jumped every time a 
bomb exploded and finally brought 
him outside to sleep in the security of 
her arms. She expressed sadness that 
her child was a boy because she has 
lost hope that this war will end soon. 
She fears even this 13-day-old child 
will someday have to fight." 

Last month the army surrounded 
and captured over 400 civilians farm- 
ing on the slopes of the Guazapa vol- 
cano and burned all their possessions 
except for the clothes on their backs 
and took them to refugee camps in San 
Salvador. The army strategy is to 
clean civilians out of conflict areas so 
that the guerrillas can no longer de- 
pend on them for food and other 

The Catholic Church is taking a 
stand in favor of the rights of those 
living in war areas, says Ortman. The 

church has called for an end to the 
bombing and has requested that civil- 
ians not be forced to move from areas 
of conflict. The archbishop has traveled 
openly in guerrilla-controlled territory 
and listened to testimonies of Salva- 
dorans living there. 

At the end of last year Salvadoran 
Archbishop Rivera Damas proposed a 
10-day Christmas truce. The guerrilla 
forces agreed to the cease-fire, and 
President Napoleon Duarte also ac- 
cepted. But the Salvadoran army 
refused to observe the truce, and sev- 
eral commanders claimed not to know 
anything about it. 

The army's refusal to honor the 
truce agreed upon by President Duarte 
raises serious questions about who is 
in charge in El Salvador. But Ortman 
says that Duarte's lack of control over 
the military is not a new trend but a 
"deterioration of old trends." 

Unfortunately it seems that earlier 
efforts by the church and other forces 
to encourage dialogue between the 
guerrillas and the Salvadoran army 
have evaporated. Ortman says that 
Duarte seems to be "moving away 
from rhetoric about dialogue. He has 
stated that defense is the number one 
priority." The government refused to 
respond to two well-defined proposals 
for dialogue late last year from the 
guerrilla forces. 

El Salvador is not only fighting a 
war against guerrillas but is strug- 
gling for economic survival. Although 
most other Latin American countries 
are facing economic crises, "other 
countries are not trying to fight a war 
at the same time," says Ortman. 

The government is calling for a cut- 
back in public spending that means 
even less money for education, health, 
agriculture and transportation. This 
cutback is needed to keep the military 
supplied with what it needs to fight 

the war. One labor group complained, 
"We've been dying in the war and now 
we are being condemned to die of hun- 
ger." There have been several large 
demonstrations protesting the eco- 
nomic cutbacks. 

Ortman works with refugees living 
in camps in San Salvador. The tin- 
roofed wooden shacks surrounded by 
barbed wire and overcrowded church 
buildings have been home for thou- 
sands of refugees during the last five 
years. Ortman writes, "Refugees used 
to talk about the war maybe ending in 
the next year to two. That hope is 

The war continues to grind on 
largely because of major US. military 
grants to the Salvadoran army. In 
1985 El Salvador received $128 mil- 
lion in direct military aid, $194 mil- 
lion in war-related aid and $130 
million in other economic aid from the 
United States. This $452 million ac- 
counted for about half of the Salva- 
doran national budget. Joy Hofer 

Salvadoran refugee girl whose fam ily was 
forced to flee El Salvador to neighboring 
Honduras. She along with over 1 million 
other Salvadorans are refugees waiting for 
the war to end. 



Divorce rates in the United States 
increased last year to a decade high, 
according to a new report by the Na- 
tional Center for Health Statistics. 
The study found that 1,187,000 cou- 
ples divorced in 1985— the most di- 
vorces since 1980. About one-half of 
U.S. marriages end in divorce. 

Can the church help 

Elkhart, Ind. (MCC U.S.)-"Roger, 
Susan, Peter." 

"John, Jim, Mary, Merrill." 

"Angie, Frank, Juan, Carol. . . ." 

The names lifted up in prayer contin- 
ued until they totaled 137. Thirty-five 
people with heads bowed sat by the 
fireplace at Camp Menno Haven, par- 
ticipants in a workshop on "Congrega- 
tions Helping Job Seekers." 

Worship leader Ron Kennel asked us 
to think of individuals we knew look- 
ing for jobs and to share their names 
as we prayed around the circle. The 
extent of the pain and challenge of 
unemployment and vocational change 
became dramatically clear as so many 
names were lifted up. 

The purpose of the workshop, held 
March 17-18 at Tiskilwa, 111., was to 
equip congregational leaders to help 
their communities discover new ways 
to care for and aid members looking 
for jobs. 

The continuing farm crisis was illus- 
trated in stories from Ohio to Ne- 
braska of families whose dreams of 
raising children on the farm and car- 
ing for God's good earth were shat- 
tered. When pastor Walter Smeltzer 
described the impact on his congrega- 
tion of the massive layoffs at the Cat- 
erpillar company in Peoria, we were 
reminded that the majority of Menno- 
nites work in non-farm occupations 
where job security is no longer certain. 
Mennonite minorities in urban areas 
are especially vulnerable to the harsh 
realities of a marketplace where a 
growing number must work in lower- 
paying service jobs, if they can find 
any job at all. 

For most Mennonites, responsible 
work performance has always been a 
high value. Losing a job is an emo- 
tional shock. When workshop partici- 
pants were asked to report emotions 
they had experienced or observed in 

P. Buckley Moss, well-known for her 
paintings of the Amish and Menno- 
nites, is donating proceeds from 1,000 
copies of her print titled "Family 
Love" (right) to the relief and develop- 
ment work of Mennonite Central Com- 
mittee in Africa. She hopes to raise 
$100,000 through this project. The 
printes sell for $105 each and may be 
ordered from MCC/Africa Fund, Box 
M, Akron, PA 17501. 

the unemployed? 

others when forced into unemploy- 
ment, the blackboard filled with words 
such as anger, hopelessness, fear, grief, 

Career counselor Fred Litwiller from 
Goshen (Ind.) College led the group in 
practical exercises designed to help 
individuals identify their skills and 
utilize them in the job search. When 
job experience is properly analyzed, 
many people are surprised to discover 
how many marketable skills they 

In discussing how Mennonites deal 
with financial adversity, the subject of 
bankruptcy surfaced repeatedly. Some 
sense a fundamental shift in church 
attitudes in the direction of more ac- 
ceptance of this last resort in certain 

The idea that bankruptcy may be the 
modern legal equivalent of the year of 
jubilee was intriguing for some but 
problematic for many. We were re- 
minded that the jubilee concept is 
expressive of a way of life, not just a 
solution to a crisis. 

The concluding session focused on 
how the church can support members 
in job transition. A congregation in 
Ohio that has helped settle five Asian 
families has offered to assist any fam- 
ily looking for new employment away 
from their home community. 

One source for help is a telephone 
hotline sponsored by the Mennonite 
Central Committee U.S. Farm Task 
Force and staffed by John and Nancy 
Haider in Parnell, Iowa. The toll-free 
number outside Iowa is (800) 553-8371, 
in Iowa (319) 646-2300. 

Job seekers need a supportive group 
to talk with about their situation. The 
sense of failure is often overwhelming. 
One person said, "We need to change 
the attitudes in our congregation so 
that people realize joblessness is not a 
dread disease." 

Congregations were encouraged to 
appoint a resource person or group to 
be available to members to work 
through financial and vocational 

To deepen understanding of the spir- 
itual issues involved, the worship med- 
itations presented by Iowa pastor Ron 
Kennel at the workshop will be avail- 
able from MCC U.S., Box M, Akron, 
PA 17501. 

A resource that many farm commu- 
nities have found useful is a two-part 
video, Another Family Farm, available 
free from the Division for Parish Ser- 
vices, Lutheran Church in America, 
2900 Queen Lane, Philadelphia, PA 
19129, (215) 438-5600. 

The MCC U.S. Farm Task Force and 
the Mennonite Board of Congrega- 
tional Ministries, who sponsored the 
workshop with the help of a financial 
grant from Mennonite Mutual Aid, are 
considering further steps to help con- 
gregations help job seekers. Edgar 

Student services position 

Full- or part-time student services position 
available at Bethel College, North Newton, Kan. 
Includes responsibility as resident director in a 
residence hall and possible other student 
service duties as appropriate. 

Responsible for the administration and 
management of the residence hall facility, 
including development, ongoing supervision, 
training and evaluation of student staff. 
Master's degree in counseling or related field 
preferred, bachelor's degree considered. Salary 
based on education and experience. 

Applications accepted until April 30 to: 
Ron Flaming 
Dean of Students 
Bethel College 
North Newton, KS 67117. 


APRIL 22, 1986 

The Council on Church and Media 

will develop the theme of "Marketing 
Our Mission" during its second annual 
conference at Conrad Grebel College, 
Waterloo, Ont., May 27-28. Keynote 
speaker will be Daniel Kauffman, 
assistant to the president of Goshen 
(Ind.) College for special projects. A 
second major presentation will be 
given by Judy Weidman, editor and 
director of Religious News Service, 
who will speak on "The Roles of News 
in Marketing Our Mission." Those 
planning to attend the conference 
should send a $50 registration fee to 
Council on Church and Media, 1451, 
Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120. 

"A modest proposal for peace: Let 

the Christians of the world agree that 
they will not kill each other." A poster 
with those words has caught the atten- 
tion of a Marine from Chicago, a U.S. 
student at a Southern Baptist semi- 
nary, a Ugandan church leader and 
church workers in Central America. 
Over 6,000 copies have been circulated 
in the United States, Canada, Africa, 
Central America, Europe and Japan 
since Mennonite Central Committee 
produced the poster in mid- 1984. The 
18-by-22-inch poster is available from 
MCC, Box M, Akron, PA 17501, for $1 
each or $5 for eight copies. 

Wisconsin Mennonites boost membership nearly 50 percent 

Waukesha, Wis. (GCMC)— The only 
Mennonite congregation in Wisconsin 
affiliated with either the Mennonite 
Church or the General Conference 
boosted its membership by nearly 50 
percent when 10 new members joined 
the church Jan. 12. The four adult 
baptisms and six transfers brought 
total membership of the tiny outreach 
church to 33. 

The Mennonite Fellowship in 
Waukesha, Wis., affiliated with both 
Mennonite organizations, is pastored 
by Clarice and Lawrence Kratz and 
serves metropolitan Milwaukee and 
Waukesha (a smaller city on the west- 
ern border of the metropolitan area). 
The fellowship has grown from an 
average Sunday attendance of 18 in 
1982 to an average attendance of 60 

Job openings 

Director, skill trainer and direct-care staff are 
needed at Oregon Mennonite Residential 
Services, Inc., (group homes for 
developmental^ disabled adults). 

Send inquiries to: 
Jane Toews 
Teaching Research 
345 Monmouth Ave. 
Monmouth, OR 97361 
(503) 838-1220, ext. 401. 

Membership has increased from four 
active members in 1982 to 33. 

The fellowship meets in a historic 
Victorian house, which also houses the 
Kratz family. The adult Bible study 
class meets in one corner of the front 
parlor, which has been remodeled to 


Mennonite World Conference is interviewing 
applicants for this full-time, salaried position to 
be filled by Sept. 1. Responsibilities include: 
management of computer fund accounting 
system, budgeting and financial planning. 
Qualifications include computer and fund 
accounting experience. Accounting degree 

Reply to: 

Jane Friesen 

Mennonite World Conference 
528 E. Madison St. 
Lombard, IL 60148 
(312) 953-2320. 

accommodate the worship service as 
well. The kitchen, basement and pas- 
tors' study all double as Sunday school 
classrooms, while an upstairs bedroom 
houses nursery care. The congregation 
maintains close personal and spiritual 
ties while welcoming new faces into 
the circle nearly every week. 

Position available 

Spruce Lake Retreat has an opening for a 
food service director. Spruce Lake Retreat is 
a Christian retreat center and camp owned by 
Franconia Mennonite Camp Association, 
located in the Pocono Mountains of 
northeastern Pennsylvania. This is a salaried, 
year-round position with housing and other 
benefits provided. 


Paul Beiler, Administrator 
Spruce Lake Retreat 
Route 1 , Box 605 
Canadensis, PA 18325 
(717) 595-7505. 

Begun in 1976 

by Mennonite Board of Missions, 
Deaf Ministries is a resource 
to deaf and hearing persons 
and congregations. 


• Resource persons for presentations to 

congregations and groups 

• Signing (bimonthly newsletter) 

• Annual Deaf Ministries Leadership Retreat 

• Annual Laurelville retreat for deaf people, their 

family and friends 

• Support to local Deaf Ministries programs 

• Loaning library (books and videotapes) 

• Ephphatha scholarships to train persons in 

deaf ministries 

• Coordination of interpreters at 

churchwide events 


For more 

information, contact 

Board of Missions 

Box 370 • Elkhart IN 46515-0370 

Position available 

Director for residential home for four 
developmentally disabled adults in Fresno, 
Calif. Live-in with seminary/college student 

For more information, contact: 
Duane Heffelbower 

Central California Mennonite Residential 

Services, Inc. 
1010 G St. 
Reedley, CA 93654 
(209) 638-6911. 


Describing apartheid as a major 
cause of hunger in South Africa and 
neighboring African countries, Bread 
for the World has announced that its 
50,000-member national Christian 
network will join in efforts to win pas 
sage of 1986 legislation that imposes 
U.S. sanctions against the South Afri- 
can government. 

About 25 scholars and other church 
people met in Prague Jan. 24-27 to 
discuss the Jan Hus Reformation of 
the 15th century and the Radical or 
Anabaptist Reformation. Participants, 
which included four Mennonites, dis- 
cussed the significance and authority 
of the Bible, Jesus' Sermon on the 
Mount, how eschatology can guide 
ethical practice, and matters related to 
economics. One theme that surfaced 
was the tension between the historic 
ideals of the early leaders and the 
reality of church practice today. 

Accountability in the Church: A 

Study Guide for Congregations by 
Helmut Harder has been sent to all 
member congregations of the General 
Conference. It prompts discussion and 
gives guidance on two fronts: the rela- 
tionship of a congregation to its pastor 
and other church leadership, and the 
relationship of a congregation to its 
denomination. Copies can be ordered 
for $1.25 (either U.S. or Canada) plus 
postage from 600 Shaftesbury Blvd., 
Winnipeg, MB R3P 0M4, or Faith and 
Life Press, Box 347, Newton, KS 


Helen and Rudy Baergen, Charleswood 
Church, Winnipeg, have been ap- 
pointed to a four-year term of service 
under the Commission on Overseas 
Mission at the Baptist Theological 
Seminary in Cochabamba, Bolivia. 
They plan to leave around the middle 
of August for a year of language study 
in Costa Rica. They have two children. 

Patty Bates, First Presbyterian 
Church, Dallas, Texas, has accepted a 
two-year Mennonite Voluntary Service 
term as assistant director of Western 
Solidarity, part of the Denver East 
service unit. She is a 1985 graduate of 
Austin College, Sherman, Texas. Her 
parents are Daryl Bates and Judy 

Lynell Bergen, Wildwood Church, 
Saskatoon, has begun a two-year MVS 
term as women's advocate and shelter 
staff person of the Johnson County 
(Kansas) Association for Battered Per- 
sons. She is a 1984 graduate of Cana- 
dian Mennonite Bible College, Winni- 
peg. Her parents are John and Martha 

Dorothy Bush, St. Louis, has begun a 
one-year MVS term as a child-care 
worker at the Salvation Army Resi- 
dence for Children in St. Louis. Her 
parents are Audrey and Joseph Bush 
of Farmington, Pa. 

Hank Connolly, St. Paul's Lutheran 
Church, Amityville, N.Y., has begun a 
two-year MVS term as a counselor at 
the Downtown Emergency Center in 
Seattle. His mother is Mary Connolly 
of Massapequa, N.Y. 

April and Paul Dixon, Priory Park 
Baptist Church, Guelph, Ont., have 
begun two-year MVS terms as gar- 
dener and food service manager/nutri- 






tion educator, respectively, at the 
Pleasant Valley Outdoor Center in 
Woodstock, 111. They received their 
education at the universities in 
Guelph and Toronto. His parents are 
Lilian and Robert Dixon of Niagara- 
on-the-Lake, Ont. Hers are Verna and 
William Killam of Newmarket, Ont. 

Rudy and Sue Friesen, Gretna (Man.) 
Bergthaler Church, have been ap- 
pointed to a three-year COM term as 
bookkeeper and guesthouse hosts in 
Taipei, Taiwan. Along with their three 
children, they plan to leave in July. 

Susan and Werner Froese, Eigenheim 
Church, Rosthern, Sask., have been 
appointed to a three-year COM term in 
pastoral leadership at Burwalde 
Church in Swift Colony near Cuaute- 
moc, Chihuahua, Mexico, beginning 

in September. They have three 

Gary and Jean Isaac, Swiss Church, 
Whitewater, Kan., have been appointed 
to a three-year COM/ Africa Inter-Men- 
nonite Mission term beginning in Au- 
gust. They will be teaching Bible 
among the African Independent 
Churches in the Transkei, Southern 
Africa. They have two children. 

Associated Mennonite Biblical Semi- 
naries has announced the following 
appointments: Gary E. Martin to a 
two-year term as instructor in evange- 
lism and church planting; Ruth Ann 
Gardner as registrar; Harold D. Thies- 
zen as coordinator of church and semi- 
nary relations effective Jan. 1, 1987; 
Richard A. Kauffman as acting presi- 
dent during Marlin E. Miller's sabbati- 


APRIL 22, 1986 

Roelf and Juliette Kuitse, Elkhart, 
Ind., left Feb. 10 for an extended visit 
to east and southern Africa on behalf 
of Mennonite Central Committee and 
several Mennonite mission boards. 
Roelf, professor of missions and associ- 
ate director of the Mission Training 
Center at Associated Mennonite Bibli- 
cal Seminaries, will combine teaching 
on Islam and Christianity in Africa 
and one-to-one contact with Mennonite 
mission and service workers. He also 
plans to visit leaders in African Inde- 
pendent Churches. 

Congregations or conferences who 
give first-year students financial sup- 
port for studies at Associated Menno- 
nite Biblical Seminaries, Elkhart, Ind., 
will have the amount matched up to 
$500 by either of the AMBS schools. 
The matching grant will not affect 
other financial aid available to new 
students. Contact Richard A. Kauff- 
man for Goshen Biblical Seminary or 
Henry Poettcker for Mennonite Bibli- 
cal Seminary at 3003 Benham Ave., 
Elkhart, IN 46517. 



J. Plenert 

three-year Overseas Mission Volunteer 
terms sponsored by COM. They plan to 
leave in August. After language study 
in Brussels, they will be helping with 
the youth hostel and guesthouse/mis- 
sionary service in Kinshasa, Zaire. 

Housekeeper wanted 

Housekeeper — light maintenance, 

year-round voluntary service position. 

For more information contact: 
Curt Bechler 
Camp Friedenswald 
15406 Watercress Drive 
Cassopolis, Ml 49031 
(616) 476-2426. 

Latin American workshop 

Latin American workshop in Bogota, Colombia, 
July 6-Aug. 4. Observation, experience, 
analysis and interpretation of Latin American 
reality from a Christian commitment to 
liberation. The cost for this ninth workshop is 
$649, sponsored by Program of Conscien- 
tization for North Americans (PCNA). 


Paul E. Stucky, coordinator 
1614 Market 
Galveston, TX 77550 
(409) 762-1391. 

Assistant pastor needed 

First Mennonite Church, Saskatoon, is 

seeking a full-time assistant pastor, 
commencing Sept. 1. This could be a shared 

Primary responsibilities would be youth ministry 
and assisting with pulpit duties. Ability to give 
leadership in church music would be an asset. 

For information or application contact: 
Archie Epp, congregational chairman 
1513 Argyle Ave. 
Saskatoon, SK S7H 2W3 
(306) 374-1516. 



cal leave during the 1986-87 academic 
year. Paul M. Miller was named profes- 
sor emeritus of practical theology. 

Janet and Steve Plenert, Saanich 
Community Church, Victoria, B.C., 
and Olivet Church, Clearbrook, B.C., 
respectively, have been appointed to 

Keep in touch with The Marketplace, 

a magazine of business, faith 
and ethics. Now in a new bi- 
monthly format with more ideas, 
articles and inspiration for 
Christians on the job. 

The Marketplace — where 
faith and work get together. 

Rates: $10 a year; $18 for two years 

Postal Code 

Clip and send to. Mennonite Economic Development Associates, 
400-280 Smith St., Winnipeg, MB R3C 1 K2 


' ~~" — > 



• concert choirs 

• chamber vocal ensembles 

• string ensembles 

• wind ensembles 

• jazz groups 

• music theatre 

• music theory 

• acting movement 

• conducting , 

• pop/jazz improvisation 

• voice lessons 

• instrument lessons 

• keyboard lessons ! 

JUNE 8-13 

Scholarships available to 
students in All-State Chorus, 
Orchestra, or Band, or who 
receive a l-rating on solos at 
State Music Contest. 

For more information contact: 
Melinda Voder 

Bethel College i 
North Newton, KS 67117 
Phone (316) 283-2500 

V J 

Commission Un education 

How does the Commission on 
Education serve congregations? 

Mennonite service venture 

Individual youth (ages 14-18) or entire youth groups can spend 
time together working, praying and studying the Bible in a variety 
of settings in North America and abroad. 
Mennonite Marriage Encounter 

A weekend marriage program for couples who wish to learn more 
about each other and how to better communicate. This program is 
for all marriages. 

ACT Mid to Christian reaching) 

A weekend hands-on experience for church school teachers, nur- 
sery to adult, their superintendents, pastors and Christian educa- 
tion committee members. 
Student Ministries 

The "It Matters Where You Scatter" program utilizes a Contact 
Person Network to help scattered Mennonite students and young 
adults keep contact with their church roots. Also, a packet is avail- 
able to help congregations develop and evaluate Congregational 
Student Aid programs at our church-related schools. 
Foundation Series Resource Persons 

A person is available in each district and province to provide assis- 
tance to Christian educators in using the Foundation Series or with 
other education questions. 

"The Foundation Series"— Sunday school curriculum for children, 

youth and adults 
"Uniform Series'— Sunday school curriculum for adults 
Builder— Christian education magazine 
With— Youth magazine 
"Faith and Life Bible Studies" 
Adult study electives 
The Mennonite Hymnal 
Church membership materials 

And much, much more! 

Your prayer and financial support for the commission 
on Education are appreciated and necessary to 
continue this and other ministries for the church. 

Meet John (J. W.) Sprunger, Executive Secretary of 
the Commission on Education. If you have any ques- 
tions about these or other services of the Commis- 
sion on Education please contact J. W. at the address 

t=fcr General 722 MatnSireet Box 34? 

((if) Conference Newton KS 671 14 - 0347 
js==f Mennonite 316-283-sioo 

Commission on 



Preparation for Marriage and Teens 
and Sexuality are available from 
Faith and Life Press, Box 347, Newton, 
KS 67114. In obedience to a constitu- 
ency asking for help in studying hu- 
man sexuality, these resources were 
written under the direction of the 
Commission on Education. They sell 
for $9.95 and $5.95 (U.S.), respectively. 

Karl Gaspar, a lay church leader in 
Mindanao, Philippines, was arrested in 
1983 and detained for 22 months. Dur- 
ing that time he wrote How Long? 
Prison Reflections of Karl Gaspar. 
From June to December 1985 he kept 
a diary of his experiences working 
with poor farmers on the island of 
Negros in the Philippines. Be Not 
Afraid ($.50) contains excerpts from 
that journal. Both pieces are available 
from Synapses, 1821 W. Cullerton, 
Chicago, IL 60608. 

Rejoice in the Lord: A Hymn 
Companion to the Scriptures (Eerd- 
mans, 1985) is organized according to 
the canonical order of the Bible. It 
contains 624 hymns, including 62 
Psalms, and is available in hardcover 
for $12.95. 

In February 1978 Henry and Twyla 
Lubben, 73 and 65, accepted their 
52nd foster child, a battered infant 
girl. Later they won a court battle and 
adopted Christina, their 10th adopted 
child. Christina's World (Zondervan, 
1985) tells the story of government 
insensitivity in this case. It is avail- 
able for $5.95. 

Amish Crib Quilts (Good Books, 
1985) contains 78 color plates, stories 
and poetry written by children and 
reflections on life's seasons from one 
Amish child's perspective. It costs 

A three-part study/action packet for 
Christians who want to be engaged in 
Amnesty International's campaign to 
abolish torture has been completed by 
American Christians for the Abolition 
of Torture, 6117 Germantown Ave., 
Philadelphia, PA 19144, (215) 849- 
7450. It costs $3.95 plus $1 postage. 

Faith Refined by Fire, a study of 
1 Peter by David Schroeder, and Have 
the Mind of Christ, a study of 1 Co- 
rinthians 1-7 by Marilyn Peters 
Kliewer, are available from Faith and 
Life Press for $4.95 (U.S.) each. 

Three oversize (9 x 12) picture story- 
books make up The Good Thoughts 
Series (Herald Press, 1985) by Jane 
Hoober Peifer, with photographs by 
Marilyn Peifer Nolt: Good Thoughts 
at Bedtime, Good Thoughts About 

Me and Good Thoughts About Peo- 
ple. Each book sells for $2.95 ($4 in 
Mennonite Quilts and Pieces 

(Good Books, 1985) by Judy Schroeder 
Tomlonson includes not only color 
photos of prairie and farmland scenes 
and of quilts but stories from the quilt- 
ers themselves. It sells for $15.95. 
Leland Ryken presents an argument 



for the importance of literature in 
Windows to the World: Literature in 
Christian Perspective (Zondervan, 
1985). It costs $7.95. 

Jesus the Pharisee: A New Look 
at the Jewishness of Jesus (Paulist 
Press, 1985) by Harvey Falk proposes a 
fresh approach to Jewish-Christian 
relations based on this thesis: "All of 
the criticism of Jews and Pharisees 
contained in the Gospels was directed 
only at the School of Shammai, not at 
the School of Hillel, which is followed 
by modern Jews." It costs $8.95. 

Brave New People: Ethical Issues 
at the Commencement of Life (Eerd- 
mans, 1985) by D. Gareth Jones at- 
tempts to discover what principles are 
of importance in making decisions 
about human life around the time of 
its inception. It costs $8.95. 

In the new paperback edition of Sab- 
bath Time (Winston, 1985), Tilden 
Edwards argues the need for a day of 
rest and its importance as a balance to 
the rapid pace of our everyday lives. It 
costs $8.95. 

A Sanctuary Church, a 40-minute 
VHS (Vfe") videotape, is now available 
from the Audiovisual Library of the 
General Conference Mennonite 
Church, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114, 
(316) 283-5100. Rental is $3.50. 

The motion picture Hazel's People 
is available in videocassette from the 
People's Place, Intercourse, PA 17534. 

He Came Preaching Peace (Herald 
Press, 1985) includes a dozen of John 
H. Yoder's Bible lectures. It is a Chris- 
tian Peace Shelf selection and costs 
$8.95 ($12.10 in Canada). 

Friends World Committee for Consul- 
tation has published in English Ham 
Sok Hon s Queen of Suffering, A 
Spiritual History of Korea. Nomi- 
nated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 
1985, Ham Sok Hon is a Korean 
Quaker beloved in his country as a 
kind of Gandhi figure. It is available 
from 1506 Race St., Philadelphia, PA 
19102, (215) 241-7251. 

Sing for Peace (Herald Press, 1985), 
with words and illustrations by Lois 
Lenski and music by Clyde Robert 
Bulla, is a resource for teaching peace 
to children. It is published in a 16- 
page horizontal format (10 x 7) for 
$1.50 ($2.05 in Canada). 

The Proceedings of the IXth As- 
sembly of the Mennonite World Confer- 
ence, held in July 1984 at Strasbourg, 
France, are available for $1.50 from 
MWC, 528 E. Madison St., Lombard, 
IL 60148. 

Using the Bible in Groups (West- 
minster Press, 1985) by Roberta Hes- 
tenes is a comprehensive guide for 
forming and building Bible study 
groups. It costs $6.95. 

An enduring classic for three de- 
cades, The Bible Speaks to You 
(Westminster Press, 1985) by Robert 
McAfee Brown has been reprinted. It 
is an introduction to the Bible and its 
relevance to modern life. It costs $8.95. 

Living As If: How Positive Faith 
Can Change Your Life (Westminster 
Press, 1985) by William R. Miller ex- 
plores the meaning and influence our 
belief systems have on our lives. It 
costs $7.95. 

John C. Purdy relates the wisdom of 
12 biblical parables to the modern 
work arena in Parables at Work 
(Westminster Press, 1985). It costs 

The Mennonites in Arizona, a 200- 
page history, is available for $9.95 plus 
$2 postage from Henry D. Esch, 8112 
N. Seventh St., Phoenix, AZ 85020. 

The problem of addiction in our cul- 
ture is not a drug or alcohol problem, 
says William Lenters in The Free- 
dom We Crave: Addiction— the Hu- 
man Condition (Eerdmans, 1985). It 
is a people problem. The story of addic- 
tion is really the drama of the human 
spirit responding to the stress of life. 
The book sells for $9.95. 

The NIV Study Bible (Zondervan, 
1985) is the culmination of seven years 
of research and development and is the 
only study Bible based on the New 
International Version. It costs $33.95 
in hardcover. 


APRIL 22, 1986 


Serving the hibakusha 

In a recent issue we read of the Goer- 
ings' program of person-to-person con- 
tact with "hibakusha." We are very 
interested in that project. However, 
how do we contact them so we can find 
details about it? 

Incidentally, The Mennonite is one of 
the best church papers from our per- 
spective. The Mennonites are doing a 
super work as far as Christian 
churches are concerned. You do more 
per member than most, if not all other 
churches, in service that counts for the 
kingdom. Ray Hilty, 1914 W. Bataan 
Drive, Dayton, OH 45420 

March 25 

Editor's note: The requested address 
was sent to Ray. 

Usury is a sad cycle 

I appreciate the articles on the farm 
crisis (March 11 issue). The writers 
agree that there is no immediate solu- 
tion and that probably commodity 
prices will continue to decline and 
cause further bankruptcies. I doubt 
any of this will have much impact on 
the non-farm community until corres- 
ponding declines in wages and residen- 
tial and commercial real estate prices 
affect a greater percentage of the 

We function in a usury economy. If 
there are $10 in existence and some- 
one borrows that $10 and promises to 
repay $11, the borrower has agreed to 
the impossible. If the lender has the 
power to create additional dollars, the 
borrower is totally dependent on the 
lender. In a mass economy based on 
usury, if insufficient dollars are cre- 
ated to meet the needs of borrowers, 
"tight" money and bankruptcies 
result. If more than enough dollars are 

Position opening 

Chief executive officer, Kings View 

Requirements/responsibilities/duties as per 
bylaws. Salary negotiable. 

Application deadline: May 1 

Direct resumes and inquiries to: 

Theodore W. Loewen, board member 
Kings View Corporation 
Office of Personnel 
1470 W. Herndon Ave. 
Fresno, CA 93711. 

created, credit is easy and additional 
borrowing is encouraged. Whoever 
controls the process controls the 

Since 1980 the net effect of the bank- 
ing system has been a decline in the 
capital required to meet debt service. 
As long as this continues, a steady 
collapse of the farming sector is inevi- 
table. The rest of the economy will 

At some point the process will be 
reversed. Sufficient capital will be 
created, and a new boom in commodity 
prices will be under way. Farmers will 
respond by borrowing to meet in- 
creased demand for output at higher 
prices. When the crunch recurs, there 
will be another outpouring of articles 
like the recent ones. 

As long as usury banking is toler- 
ated, these crises will occur repeatedly. 
The Bible is quite clear about usury. 
Perhaps we need to do our homework 
as Christians and consider our partici- 
pation in and response to our economic 

"Thou shalt not lend upon usury to 
thy brother" (Deuteronomy 23:19). 

"Owe no man anything but to love 
one another" (Romans 13:8). 

"The borrower is servant to the 
lender" (Proverbs 22:7). John Burton, 
12999 W. 20th, Golden, CO 80401 

March 25 

Blasphemous libel? 

The imagination of homosexuals really 
does run wild. Who would ever have 
thought of suggesting that there are 
"gay" flowers ("Ice Cream and Sexual- 
ity," March 11 issue, p. 115). In biol- 
ogy I learned about cross-pollination 
and self-pollination but never of homo- 
sexual pollination. Possibly we should 
resurrect Aristophenes from Plato's 
Symposium to poke fun at some of the 
outrageous myths presented here. 

But the letter confronts us on a more 
serious note with the question of "blas- 
phemous libel." 

The letter has the gall to suggest 
that the God who tells us through Paul 
"not to associate with the sexually 
immoral" who call themselves broth- 
ers (1 Corinthians 5:9ff) has purpose- 
fully placed homosexuals in the church 
so that we may love them. Jesus says, 
". . . every sin and blasphemy will be 
forgiven men, but the blasphemy 
against the Spirit will not be forgiven" 
(Matthew 12:31). 

Paul tells us that while we were still 

powerless and sinners, Christ died for 
us (Romans 5). Jesus loves us with a 
redemptive love. So now when we are 
alive to God in Christ Jesus, we should 
not let sin reign in our mortal bodies. 
Just as the Romans used to offer parts 
of their body in slavery to impurity 
and ever-increasing wickedness, they 
should now offer them in holiness to 
God (6:1 If, 19f). 

To suggest that God calls the church 
to love in any other way is blasphe- 
mous libel. David Janzen, Box 594, 
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON LOS 1J0 

March 25 

Let's urge forgiveness 

Thanks to you and to Helen Johns for 
the article "Let Peace Begin with Me" 
(Jan. 14 issue). The song "Let There 
Be Peace on Earth" is part of the regu- 
lar liturgy in a church which I attend 
occasionally. Its beautiful melody and 
verse speak gently and firmly to a 
desire to be redeemed from that in our 
lives which alienates us from our 
brothers and sisters. 

Last Sunday Gerald Jampolsky, au- 
thor of the book Love Is Letting Go of 
Fear, spoke in the same church. He 
spoke of forgiveness. Forgiveness every 
moment in every situation. At this 
level, forgiveness does not turn into 
self-righteousness, nor does it pro- 
nounce the evil in others as being 
acceptable. Instead, total forgiveness 
allows God's love to direct us toward 
love, peace and certainty of purpose. 

There are many articles in The Men- 
nonite, which tell of injustices and evil 
around and about us in the world. It is 
certainly important to point out where 
suffering and dangers exist. But allevi- 
ating suffering, that is, bringing about 
peace, must go beyond taking sides in 
the conflicts which brought about the 
tragic conditions. 

In Jampolsky 's book Teach Only Love 
he related an incident in which 
Mother Teresa, at a conference, is 
asked to sign a statement opposing the 
nuclear arms race. After she prays, 
she indicates that she cannot sign 
because "if I signed, I would be loving 
some people and not others because I 
would be taking sides in a contro- 

Harshly judging others and ourselves 
hinders our efforts toward peace. For- 
giveness opens the way to peace. 
Orville Goering 892 Pepper Tree Court, 
Santa Clara, CA 95051 

March 25 


Mission is their family life 

Donna Entz 

Marte was embarrassed to say it, but 
she shyly confessed to others attending 
the women's seminar, "There is real 
love in our home." In her Burkina 
Faso setting, that love is evident, and 
people are learning to know Christ 
because of it. 

Marte Tiera and her husband, Philip 
Coulibale, are faithfully sharing their 
love for Christ in the village of Dji- 
gouera, a bumpy hour's drive north of 
Orodara. Both were born in ethnic 
Bobo villages in Mali, just north of the 
Burkina Faso border. 

Philip was raised as an orphan in 
the home of relatives. The family were 
fetish worshipers, but Philip somehow 
evaded such worship. The Christian 
and Missionary Alliance church was 
strong in that area, and Philip became 
interested in Christianity. He studied 
diligently to learn the Bambara trade 
language into which the Bible was 
translated. He enjoyed the Bible sto- 
ries. Philip chose to follow Christ and 
was baptized as a young teenager. 

Through problems in the church, 
interest waned and many people left. 
But Philip and several friends contin- 
ued to attend the local church. 

Marte enjoyed several years of formal 
French education during her child- 
hood. When Marte and Philip's mar- 
riage was being arranged by their 
families, she made her own commit- 
ment to Christ and was baptized. 

After the birth of their first child, 
relationships with Philip's family be- 
came strained. Philip's brother wanted 
him to work on Sunday, which Philip 
thought was wrong to do. Finally he, 
Marte and their little baby set off to 
look for farm land in Burkina Faso. 
They lived in several areas, often iso- 
lated from other believers and remote 
from other people. This was a time of 
maturing in their faith in the Lord. 

Marte remembers how the other 
women ridiculed her for not sneaking 
grain out of the family granary as they 
did. A woman could sell the pilfered 
grain for profit to buy nice clothes or 
dishes for herself. But Marte felt the 
Lord helped her to say no to such 
deeds that would have brought dishar- 
mony and food shortages to her own 
family. The Lord was teaching her to 
be a Christian wife and mother. In her 
tribe fieldwork was men's work. She 
remembered how her mother 

would sit at home doing nothing while 
her father slaved in the field. So when- 
ever she had time and the girls could 
help with housework, she went to the 
fields to help her husband, Philip, 
especially with the big job of weeding. 

It was during a time when they lived 
without other Christians nearby that 
their daughter, Deborah, became seri- 
ously ill. She had a high fever and 
partial paralysis. They suspected polio, 
but medical help was far away. Nor 
was there money for a doctor. So they 
prayed many times a day. Neighbors 
made fun of them because they didn't 
try to obtain traditional African medi- 
cine. Philip and Marte said, "God can 
heal and he will heal Deborah too, if 
that is the way it is to be." 

They carried Deborah out to the field 
and laid her under a shade tree when 
they had to cultivate the field. Slowly, 
after several days, she regained control 
of her muscles. But then they discov- 
ered the girl was blind for awhile. By 
now they knew God was helping them. 
Deborah regained full use of her eyes. 
Since that time they tell how God is 
their only and best doctor. Their 
health record has been better than for 
many people who go for medical help. 

Several years ago they felt a need to 
move on. Their move to their present 
home was confirmed for Marte in a 
dream. She had not been anxious for 
another move. But they moved onto 
new land about 35 kilometers (21 
miles) north of Orodara. They settled 
much like homesteaders. But first they 
built a grass shelter as a church build- 
ing. Then they constructed a house to 
sleep in. 

Philip only had one bullock to use as 
a draft animal to help with the culti- 
vating. Two were needed to pull a plow. 
They bought a second on credit, but 
both animals died of sickness. So there 
they were, back to cultivating with a 
short-handled hoe, doubled over, trying 
to grow enough crops for the year's 
supply of food and to pay off debts. The 
rains were not abundant. As a result 
food was short. Yet they continued to 
welcome anyone and everyone to their 
home, sharing abundantly of their 
meager resources. 

Philip and Marte have had a great 
impact on their little bush community. 
Their neighbors are also people who 
have left their previous homes for var- 
ied reasons to settle here. Several have 
now made commitments to Christ 
through the hospitality of Philip and 

Africa is a continent with some of the proudest monuments in the world. It is also a 
continent of vast variety and sharp contrasts. In this continent some of the greatest 
evidences of the Holy Spirit's ongoing work are taking place each day. Results of mission 
work, similar to that in the article, are common in many African countries. 


APRIL 22, 1986 

Some come to join Marte and Philip 
around the fire after dark for food, 
singing and testimonies as the family 
shares its life together. 

During the day Marte's teenage 
daughters work beside their mother, 
learning to do all the hard tasks of 
living in the bush. They grind flour on 
the stone, pound grain in the mortar, 
extract oil from a nut and collect bao- 
bab leaves from the trees to make a 
nutritious gravy. They must work 
hard. Yet they are grateful for the good 
food they have. Marte has taught Ma- 
riam, the oldest girl, to read in the 
trade language so that she can read 
the Bible herself. 

Philip, with the help of a nephew 
and a younger son, cultivates more 
land than most of the neighbors. It is 
all done by hand. Besides the lack of 
rain, agriculture is made difficult by 
chicken hawks, which are a constant 
threat to baby chicks; monkeys that 
steal the corn and squirrels that find 
the peanuts. But worst of all, the sta- 
ple crop, sorghum, is always attacked 
by flocks of birds shortly before the 
grain is ripe. 

Marte recently received tragic word 
from her home village. Her younger 
brother committed suicide because of 
fighting with his second wife in a po- 
lygamous society. He had still been 
single when Marte last saw her family. 
The separation of distance was hard as 
she struggled through this grief. 

Nevertheless, Philip and Marte are 
excited because they know that only 
Christ can build a church that brings 
together people of several ethnic 
groups and makes them one. Philip 
says, "When I first moved to this area 
I thought God would build his church 

Africa's natural beauty and beautiful 
kaleidoscope of cultures often contrast 
sharply with the people's poverty. 

with Bobo people. We would worship in 
the Bobo language. But now we don't 
even sing Bobo songs in the church 
anymore. Our worship is in a common 
trade language because God is bring- 
ing people of various ethnic groups to 

Three different ethnic groups have 
joined the fellowship of this Bobo fam- 
ily— Senefou, Mossi and Toussian. 
There is also an interested Siamou 
person. The little congregation re- 
ceives regular visits and counsel from 
missionaries of the Africa Inter-Men- 
nonite Mission living at Orodara. 


"A new way to meet new friends " 

Friends to share your interests. Introduction 
service available in Mennonite publications 
only. Join before August and get three years for 
the price of two. 

For information send $1 to: 
Box 32 

North Tonawanda, NY 14120. 

Philip knows there is better land 
elsewhere. He is often tempted to move 
on to an easier place, but he feels God 
has called him to this specific area to 
be a witness to the many "unreached 
tribes." For Philip and Marte their 
Christian commitment includes, "As 
you go, make disciples. . . ." 

Donna Kampen Entz, AIMM mission- 
ary to Burkina Faso, is a senior student 
at Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 
600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB 
R3P 0M4. 

Administrator needed 

Opening for licensed long-term care 
administrator for Parkside Retirement 
Community, Hillsboro, Kan. Parkside is an 
active retirement community consisting of 50 
licensed ICF beds and 20 apartments. 

Send resumes to: 
Art Balzer 

Chairman of Parkside Board 
Box 143 

Hillsboro, KS 67063. 


t/\\jU ancJ life 

Risky business 

Calvin Redekop 

One of the most time-honored ways of 
achieving financial success from zero 
is to buy real estate. Real estate is one 
of the few, if not only, commodities for 
which you can use the value of the 
purchase itself as collateral for the 
transaction. The flurry of leveraged, 
corporate buy outs is approaching the 
same idea, and there is increasing talk 
of controlling or restricting it. 

Many people who have started from 
nothing and have "made it" have used 
the leverage technique of real estate 
procedures. Of course, good timing, 
luck and other variables also play a 
part. During my real estate phase 
from 1971 to 1974, three friends and I 
incorporated a real estate company 
and did well until the recession of 
1975. Occupancy went down to 55 
percent in our rentals, and soon most 
of us found other activities more inter- 
esting, especially when we saw our 
paper worth of six digits slowly dwin- 
dle toward zero. 

When you leverage to buy, you are 
dependent on the behavior of the eco- 
nomic conditions. I also learned that 
you need lots of reserves to carry you if 
you are in a fluctuating market. This 
insight may have considerable rele- 
vance for many who are now in 
business, whether it be sales, manufac- 
turing, service or farming. 

In a dynamic or volatile economy, 
there are two ways of coping: (1) Have 
a large capital reserve for the fluctua- 
tions. (2) Have a large worth to debt 
radio structure; in other words, have 
an operation running basically on 
equity financing. This can be illus- 
trated by two types of operators. 

Type one is illustrated by the farmer, 
whether he or she has a small, me- 
dium or large farm, whose business is 
paid for in full either through an in- 
heritance or otherwise. She or he has 
no debts. One such friend told me sev- 

The Stock Exchange 
symbolizes for many 
what a nation's 
business is like. Cal 
Redekop reminds us 
that these are volatile 
times in most 

eral years ago, "I couldn't be better 
fixed. If I lose money this year on my 
wheat (he lives in Kansas), I'll close 
down the operation and go into MCC 
until the price improves." 

Type two is illustrated by the farmer 
who is probably more efficient and 
hardworking than the farmer men- 
tioned above. She or he may have in- 
herited the farm, but through various 
business decisions, such as the as- 
sumption of debt to finance expansion, 
has experienced the demise of his or 
her business. 

Each business and farm situation is 
unique, and there are many other con- 
tingencies that influence each case. 
But the basic principle is still opera- 
tive. We all know families in each 
camp. Much hard work, good inten- 
tions, integrity and God's blessings are 
still not enough to build a strong busi- 
ness or farming operation. 

Those who were fortunate by design 
or luck to have mainly equity financ- 
ing or a large capital operating reserve 
(which probably amounts to the same 
thing) are fun to be with and almost 
make one happy about the "American 
economic way." But when I am with 
those who are in deep trouble or losing 
their business, I silently curse the 

What is the Christian response to 
the problem? Or do we simply accept 
the economic system as a fact of life? 
Some months back in The Mennonite 
(Nov. 8, 1985, issue) I suggested that 
the Christian cannot take the same 
position on borrowing and credit as the 
non-Christian capitalist because of the 
ethical problems involved. I suggested 
that borrowing money makes us the 
servants of another master, which can 
compromise our intentions. 

A Christian orientation toward credit 
might alleviate a lot of our hardships. 
Maximizing the equity financing of 

business or farming, and minimizing 
the debt financing really assumes a 
philosophy that runs counter to the 
prevailing ethos which says, "Borrow 
all you can, use other people's money 
and go as deep as you can, for with 
luck and hard work you will succeed 
and get rich." This is exciting stuff for 
the totally assimilated "acquisitive 
American" but not for the Christian. 
Some might even call this acquisitive- 
ness greed. 

I recently visited a friend who had 
done well in business, but just before 
the recession of 1980 he read Milo 
Kaufman's A Challenge of Christian 
Stewardship. He made a remarkable 
decision. "I will level off, consolidate 
my business and give more time to the 
church." He came through the reces- 
sion in great shape and has been qui- 
etly helping others who, going full 
speed ahead, got caught. 

I am not saying Christians should 
not borrow heavily— although it is 
fraught with problems— but I am say- 
ing that the motivation for debt fi- 
nancing needs to be squared with our 
Christian vocation. If our motives are 
clear and if we then get caught in an 
economic disaster, we could, along with 
Job, say, "Though he kill me, I will 
still love him." This is not lofty advice 
from the ivory tower. My family, along 
with some others in this area, bor- 
rowed considerable money to finance a 
solar company. The company, due 
partly to the oil glut of 1982, went 
bankrupt, and the families are now 
paying off the obligations. 

If I ever again start out on a busi- 
ness venture, I will have enough re- 
serve on hand to carry the operating 
losses for the first three years. I will 
also have no borrowed capital to estab- 
lish the business. Are there any inter- 
ested potential partners out there? 

Calvin Redekop is 
professor of sociology 
at Conrad Grebel 
College, Waterloo, 
ON N2L 3G6. 

APRIL 22, 1986 


Parent love 

If I speak to my children as a model parent should, but no 
love comes through my voice, I become no better than the 
worst parent. If I have the gift to see the future of my fam- 
ily and hold in my mind not only all knowledge of parent- 
hood and communication but all that is known about fami- 
lies and if I have absolute faith in myself as a parent but 
have no love for my children, it all amounts to nothing. If I 
give up everything and live my whole life for my children, 
yes, even if I go to every parenting class I can but do it 
without love, I achieve nothing. 

This love of which I speak does not lose patience with a 
child, it looks for constructive ways to help. It is not pos- 
sessive but helps the child on the road to independence. It 
is not anxious to impress others with its model parenting 
nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. 

Love treats a child with respect and does not use its 
power to hold the child to itself but knows when to let a 
child go. It is not put out by others' opinions of themselves. 
It does not keep track of the child's mistakes or gloat over 
the inadequacies of other parents. Instead it shares the 
joys of parenthood and children with others who know how 
important God and love are in their families. Love knows 
no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of 
its hope, it can outlast anything. Love never fails. 

Adaptation of 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 by Marie Schmidt 

Love: a noun or a verb? 

When most of us think of long-term caring, we cannot help 
but wonder, Is it really possible to love someone till death 
do us part. 

Perhaps this question stems from a misunderstanding of 
Christian love. We all look at 1 Corinthians 13 as the epit- 
ome of perfect love. We fail to realize that its orientation 
toward love is wholly different from that of the world. For 
while the world speaks of love as a noun, a feeling, 
1 Corinthians speaks of love as a verb, an act. The ramifi- 
cations are enormous. One bases its action on ever-chang- 
ing feelings, the other acts consistently, believing the feel- 
ings of love will follow. 

The text does not pretend that love, let alone lifetime 
commitment, will always prove a lovely experience. On the 
contrary, it portrays love at its worst, when the relation- 
ship is strained and those involved need reminding that 
love is patient and kind, not jealous and boastful. Had the 
relationship's worth been solely based on whether the par- 
ties were "in love," little hope would remain. This kind of 
relationship, created to find love instead of give it, usually 
ends in disappointment. 

Most of us would have to agree that what we value most 
in our immediate family is the ability to relax in its love. 
We don't have to keep on our toes round the clock lest we 
commit the unforgivable sin. We're loved— regardless. 

Having left the family's home, most eventually seek the 
comfort and security of knowing that another will love us 
for the rest of our lives through thick and thin, good times 
and bad. Though feelings may fluctuate, love alone bears 
all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all 

Bill Archibald 



All human beings are in some way connected to other people. This 
is a social reality and a theological truth. 

The connections that bind us together are varied. Some are 
thick as blood; others are thin as a flippant promise. 

In the Bible our connectedness expresses itself in family. It is the 
divine purpose of our being to belong to God and to other people 
as a fulfillment of our created potential. Through Jesus Christ the 
meaning of family is raised to its highest plane; in him we all 
become brothers and sisters. 

Family living is covenant living. It is never easy, and today's 
challenges are only variations of previous challenges. This issue 
attempts to promote the positive values of Christian family life. 

Resolving marriage conflicts 169 

Head injury is a family affair 172 

Can we face the AIDS dilemma? 174 

Tossing our stones — John 8:3-11 175 

Tranquility in a frenzied world 176 

An l-do-not-understand poem 177 

News 178 

Major long-range plan to come to delegates 178 

MCC workers report heavy bombing in El Salvador 179 

Can the church help the unemployed? 180 

Record 182 

Resources 186 

Letters 187 

Mission is their family life 188 

Risky business 190 

Parent love 191 

Love: a noun or a verb? 191 

What is family? 192 


J. Andrew Stoner is the minister of personal and family life at First 
Mennonite Church, Box 111, Berne, IN 46711. 

Elfrieda Neufeld, Route 3, Leamington, ON N8H 3V6, is a mem- 
ber of the North Leamington Mennonite Church. 

Ruth Naylor, 123 Villanova Drive, Bluffton, OH 45817, is associ- 
ate minister at First Mennonite Church. 

Meditations are by Marie Schmidt, 3444 Rose Hill Terrace, Wa- 
terloo, IA 50701, and Bill Archibald, 1205 Prairie St., Elkhart, IN 


Cover, 170, 171, John Hiebert; 172, Kim Rempel; 173, Niagara 
Advance; 175, Earl F. Cater; 176, 177, Rohn Engh; 179, Chris 
Moser (MCC); 180, Joyce Maxwell (MCC); 181, Mark Beach 
(MCC); 188, Bernie Wiebe; 189, MCC; 190, RNS. 

tNe mennonite 

Editor: Bernie Wiebe 

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Assistant editor: Gordon Houser 

722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114 / (316) 283-5100 

Editorial assistant: Sharon Sommer 
Art director: John Hiebert 
The Mennonite is a member of the Associated Church Press, 
Evangelical Press Association and Meetinghouse (a Mennonite 
and Brethren in Christ editors' group). It is an associate member of 
the Canadian Church Press. 

Business manager: Dietrich Rempel. Circulation secretary: Marilyn Kauf- 
man. Special editions editors: Central District, Evelyn Krehbiel, 229 Brook- 
wood, Bluffton, OH 45817; Pacific District. Carol Peterson, 25956 S. Rhoten 
Road, Aurora, OR 97002; Western District, Debbie Huxman, Box 306. North 
Newton, KS 671 17; Window to Mission, Lois Deckert, 122 W. Dayton Yellow 
Springs Road, Apt. #4, Fairborn, OH 45324; and Associated Mennonite Bibli- 
cal Seminaries, Richard A. Kauffman, 3003 Benham Ave. Elkhart. IN 46517. 




What is family? 

T. S. Eliot (d. 1965) wrote at one point, "What have 
we if we have not life together?" Human life in the 
Bible is life together. Life has value in relationships— 
with God and with other people. 

Togetherness— relationships that are mutually crea- 
tive and mutually dignifying— that's what families 
are about. 

There is much pain in today's families as separa- 
tion, divorce, runaway children, alienation and other 
tragedies take their toll. So much so that many peo- 
ple wonder if the institution of family can survive. 

From the biblical teaching and from what I observe 
in past history as well as today, the family as institu- 
tion will be around as long as people are around. The 
meaning of family is essential to being human. 

But it may be that in its expression family is being 
resculptured. The basic clay of family will remain; its 
molding probably needs some reshaping. 

Robert Couchman, executive director of Metro To- 
ronto Family Services, recently said, "A true family 
consists of two or more people who care uncondition- 
ally for one another and share in the collective 
health and security of the unit as well as in support- 
ing and helping each member to secure his or her 
full potential and achieve personal fulfillment." That 
may be the 1986 version of, "Therefore a man leaves 
his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and 
they become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). 

There are changes in traditional husband/wife, 
male/female roles in families. But there are common 
factors— the same clay— always meant to be there, 
which are fundamental to all families. And these are 
plus factors for all members in families. 

Acceptance, regardless of being first or last in 
school, regardless of failure in career hopes, is one 
key foundation stone for building creative families. 
Not a wishy-washy, no-expectations acceptance, but a 
feeling of being loved and valued each for his or her 
being, is a recognition that God created each person 
uniquely in his image. 

Belonging— a sense of membership with loyal part- 
ners in a unit— makes you feel like you count. It 
builds worth for the unit and the individual. 

Boundaries are essential between parents and 

children. Parents can sometimes be friends to chil- 
dren, but their friends cannot be parents. It's a plus 
when children know parents are willing to risk being 

Chatter across the generations helps us feel con- 
nected; it gives families a history. Instead of seeing 
the "good old days" as a way to hold back and there- 
fore discourage reflections, our history becomes the 
bridge and stepping-stone to a continuing future with 
realistic foundations. 

Entry to new people is a beautiful quality when 
children bring friends home or when dating begins. 
The welcome mat for strangers or newcomers is a 
biblical quality that often gets tested in a pluralistic 
world. Hospitality means that we may host angels 
without our knowing it. 

Intimacy or feeling close to one another is a plus 
that covers a large range of needs: giving and receiv- 
ing emotional support, doing things together, feeling 
and expressing affection, handling our sexuality. 
When not expressed creatively, this need leads to 
abuse and violence. 

Limitations with constructive reasons help us to 
learn accountability and understand discipline. Too 
much control or ultimatums can have disastrous con- 
sequences because they often lead to rebellion. 

Positive family feuding encourages members to 
express their unique selves and add the dimensions 
of the whole family to its makeup. Healthy debates 
and competitions enrich the quality of family living. 

Privacy or special times just to be oneself show 
respect for individuals. While too much independent 
individualism destroys family togetherness, each per- 
son needs to do some things without interference. All 
people need to feel OK about some secrets. 

Shared family work and other responsibilities. 
Too long and too often such divisions have been based 
strictly on sex stereotypes. To enjoy the benefits of 
each person's aptitudes and to share drudgeries is 
the best chance for positive results. 

Family can be positive. One formula says, add to- 
gether our efforts, subtract our selfish interests, di- 
vide the tasks, multiply our resources, and family life 
can be a plus for all of us. Bernie Wiebe 



101:09 MAY 13, 1986 

* EXHARs ^ 


We believe in the 
second coming of Jesus 

Foundations for our faith— 8 

Thomas Finger 

The images associated with Christ's 
return are among the most vivid in 
the Bible. Bodies rise from graves and 
sail on clouds, angels fly about with 
trumpets, bowls and scrolls. Because 
such events seem so unlike anything 
that we experience today, some Chris- 
tians—especially those who regard 
themselves as educated, sophisticated 
or scientific— do not interpret Jesus' 
return in any historical sense. They 
suppose that if such biblical images 
have any meaning at all, it must be a 
spiritual one. (For example, "Christ's 

tremes. If we wholly spiritualize it, we 
risk losing all connection between 
Jesus and the future of the world 
where we live. And having spiritual- 
ized this theme, we may forget it. Yet 
if we become overly concerned about 
the historical details involved, we may 
lose sight of this event's deeper mean- 
ing. And having focused on these de- 
tails, we may find ourselves thinking 
(and perhaps arguing) about little else. 

If we steer between these extremes, 
perhaps we can make four significant 
affirmations about the return of Jesus 

Some people 
long for the king 
but forget 
the kingdom. 

return" might merely mean that God 
returns to each of us each time we 

Other themes associated with Jesus' 
future coming, however, strike deep 
chords of hope in all human hearts. We 
hear of evil being destroyed, of suffer- 
ing and death being done away, of a 
world where young and old, rich and 
poor from all nations live in harmony 
and joy. But because they long for this 
and regard it as central to the gospel, 
some other Christians interpret all the 
images associated with Jesus' return 
in a historical way. They try to fit 
every beast, battle and bowl into a 
single chronological scheme. 

If we as a larger church are to derive 
common hope and comfort from the 
anticipation of Christ's return, it is 
important to avoid both of these ex- 

Christ. Although many people (includ- 
ing myself) could say more, perhaps 
most of us could affirm at least the 

1. Our personal hope is inter- 
twined with the future of our his- 
torical world. For some people, the 
goal of Christian life consists in meet- 
ing with Jesus when they die. Valid as 
this hope is, it is incomplete. We might 
say that though such people long for 
the king, they may tend to forget his 
kingdom. According to the Bible, 
Christ is presently involved in our 
world. Christ is guiding his people, 
subduing his enemies and preparing 
people from all nations for the final 
victory of his kingdom. 

Consequently, even when individuals 
die and enter Christ's presence, their 
joy cannot, in the fullest sense, be 

complete. For although they may begin 
resting from their labors, Jesus will 
not yet be resting from his. As long as 
suffering, sorrow or death exist, Jesus 
will be striving to release the entire 
created order from them. If Christ's 
return to our world, and not merely 
our individual exit from it, be our 
ultimate hope, then our goal must be 
Christ's goal. Throughout our lives we 
will look forward to the day when not 
only we but the whole world will be 
released from suffering. We will rejoice 
in anticipating the day when not only 
we but the entire universe will attain 
the purpose for which it was created. 

2. Our hope calls us to involve- 
ment in this world. If Jesus will re- 
turn to our historical world, there will 
be some continuity between what he is 
currently doing and what he will fi- 
nally do. Whatever we may now do in 
his name to alleviate suffering, to pur- 
sue justice or to act out of servant-like 
love will not be irrelevant when God is 
finally all in all. Christ's present 
struggle against evil and his final 
elimination of it are part of the same 
overarching historical activity. Accord- 
ingly, authentic hope for Jesus' return 
does not make one less concerned 
about our world. On the contrary, it 
arouses courage and motivates involve- 
ment. It assures us that no matter how 
threatening or irredeemable any form 
of evil may seem, it cannot ultimately 
prevail against God's love in Christ 
(Romans 8:35-39, 1 Corinthians 15:58). 

3. Our ultimate hope is for Jesus 
himself. Some people notice that 
Christ's return is connected with the 
overcoming of suffering and the estab- 
lishment of justice. They doubt, how- 
ever, that Jesus will actually reappear 
or that dead bodies will actually rise. 
Accordingly, they suppose that all the 
images associated with Christ's return 


MAY 13, 1986 

are merely symbols for some general 
social vision. Such people may throw 
themselves into admirable work for 
justice or peace. However, although 
such people long for the kingdom, they 
may tend to forget the king. Yet if our 
hope be for Christ's return, then no 
social reform or revolution, no matter 
how far-reaching, can exhaust it. For 
our ultimate hope is not only that 
people will know and love each other 
but that all people will fully know and 
love— and be known and be loved by- 
God. Hope for Christ's return is the 
hope that God himself will come 
among us; that we shall see him fully, 
as he truly is (1 Corinthians 13:12, 
1 John 3:2-3); that "the earth will be 
filled with the knowledge of the glory 
of the Lord, as the waters cover the 
sea" (Habakkuk 2:14). 

4. We must commit the future into 
God's hands. If we can hope both that 
Jesus will someday be personally 
present and that his presence will 
transform our present historical world, 
then we all must be humble in facing 
the future. Some find it difficult to 
conceive of events that might contra- 
dict what we think of as physical or 
social laws. Yet if Jesus will be person- 
ally present in a world without injus- 

tice or suffering, some unusual events 
will have to occur to make this possi- 
ble. Although the future world will be 
continuous with our world, there also 
will be significant discontinuity be- 
tween them. 

On the other hand, careful study of 
the Bible soon shows how impossible it 
is to know exactly how all this will 
occur. How, for instance, will everyone 
on a round earth see Jesus descend 
from the heavens (Revelation 1:7)? Or 
how shall we visualize Christ smiting 
the nations with a sword issuing from 
his mouth (Revelation 19:15)? Even 
those most concerned with end-time 
chronology acknowledge that at some 
point one cannot press details too far 
and that not every image can be liter- 
ally understood. Christians can re- 
spectfully disagree as to where to draw 
the line between what we can and 
cannot know. But surely everyone 
must humbly acknowledge that such a 
line must be drawn. 

Summary. Hope for the return of 
Jesus Christ is a practical doctrine. It 
gives us courage and joy to act in the 
present. For if Christ is returning to 

this historical world, he has not aban- 
doned it to oppression, suffering and 
death. If it is Christ who is returning, 
then everything truly done in his 
name must surely bear fruit. And 
whether we now experience these 
fruits or not, we can be certain that 
we, along with the whole creation, will 
someday rejoice in his presence. 

Yet such a future is so different from 
the present that neither social ideolo- 
gies nor eschatological charts can tell 
us exactly how it will come about. We 
cannot reshape society or history as a 
whole so that Christ will return more 
swiftly. Our calling is simply to live 
according to Jesus' way of servanthood, 
peace and justice wherever we are— 
whether our efforts be met with what 
humans think of as overwhelming 
success or abject defeat. 

Thomas Finger, 5748 W. Race, Chi- 
cago, IL 60644, is a member of First 
Mennonite Church at Oak Park. Tom is 
professor of systematic theology at 
Northern Baptist Seminary. Interested 
readers can consult a more elaborate 
treatment on the second coming of 
Christ in Finger's Christian Theology: 
an Eschatological Approach, Vol. 1 
(Thomas Nelson, 1985). • 


Saskatoon '86 and the coming kingdom 

Donovan E. Smucker 

At the moment I started to write this 
article the doorbell rang. Upon open- 
ing the door I met two young women 
representing the Jehovah's Witnesses. 
They appeared to be simple, zealous 
and committed. I purchased a copy of 
The Watchtower for a quarter. I was 
stunned to read that the average print- 
ing of this journal was 11,630,000 in 
104 languages. 

When I returned to my study I re- 
flected on this brief encounter. The two 
Witnesses belong (with some varia- 
tions) with Melchior Hoffman, Jan 
Matthys and Jan of Leiden at Muen- 
ster (1534-36); with Klaus Epp and the 
Kiva people in Russia; with C. I. Sco- 
field and Lewis Sperry Chafer of our 
own day. And even with Albert 
Schweitzer in the sense that he viewed 
Jesus as consistently and wrongly 
focused on the apocalyptic kingdom 
within his lifetime. 

This pattern of interpretation places 
the kingdom essentially in the future. 
The imminence of the Messianic age, 
they say, requires us to prepare for the 
end, view the moral teaching only as 
an ethic for the brief interim between 
the first and second comings and then 
to realize the precarious nature of 
everything and anything which now 

This permits the Christian to defy 
human authority in government, cul- 
ture and popular religion. No idols. No 
flag waving. No flag salutes. But it 

"Thy Kingdom 
Come" is the theme 
for the July 21-27 
General Conference 
sessions at 
Saskatoon. This 
conference logo was 
designed by Gerry 
Unrau of Saskatoon. 

also suggests no MCC, no service, no 
hospitals, no schools, no summer 
camps, no artistic expression. Prepare 
ye the way of the Lord. Sound the 
alarm. Don't spend time reading the 
face of the sky. Discern the signs of the 

The other extreme developed during 
the 19th and the early 20th centuries 
when liberal Protestantism took the 
parable of the mustard seed to mean 
that gradual evolutionary growth was 
bringing the kingdom in step by step. 
If the Witnesses and the Muensterites 
had the kingdom too much in the fu- 
ture, this party of optimists proclaimed 
it too much in the present. Actually, 
the New Testament affirms a paradox 
whereby our Lord came preaching at 
Galilee, saying, "The time is fulfilled 
and the kingdom of God is at hand; 
repent and believe in the gospel" 
(Mark 1:14-15). And 13 chapters later 
Mark describes in awesome detail the 
future kingdom. 

Mark 1:14-15, however, is a genuine 
dynamic force in both human history 
and church history: the bold and auda- 
cious Luther at Worms defying a mo- 



Saskatoon '86 

nopoly of a thousand years; Conrad 
Grebel at Zurich rejecting the later 
compromise by Luther, Calvin and 
Zwingli. This new stirring of kingdom- 
consciousness changed church, state 
and society. 

Always the church was trying to 
catch up with the kingdom as the trea- 
sure of the gospel started to shatter 
the earthen vessel. Soon the Anabap- 
tist yeast demanded personal decision 
making. No longer could the prince 
march the people to the river and force 
baptism upon them. This yeast led to 
the modern missionary movement, 
church renewal with Wesley and Zin- 
zendorf and modern democracy, which 
affirmed voluntary commitment for 
Christian and citizen. 

Even the finest achievements of the 
Reformation, even our radical Reforma- 
tion, could not be viewed as a perfect 
union of kingdom and church. We 
knew the Catholics were wrong in 
making church and kingdom cotermi- 
nous—as one. It was more painful to 
discover the kingdom is also pushing, 
stretching and judging our free-church 
and low-church claims. But that push- 
ing and stretching by the kingdom is 
the foundation of the prophetic office. 

At the Tenth Assembly of the Men- 
nonite World Conference in Wichita, 
Kan., the theme was "The Kingdom of 
God and the Way of Peace." Million 
Belete of Ethiopia, David Schroeder of 
Canada, Paul G. Hiebert of India and 
the United States, Hank B. Kossen of 
the Netherlands and Albert Widjaja of 
Indonesia came from different nations 
to proclaim the power of the kingdom 
of God. Hank Kossen was bold in see- 
ing the kingdom confronting the prin- 
cipalities and powers, and Albert 
Widjaja fearlessly examined the claims 
of the Third World on our consciences. 
It was a biblical feast to hear these 
five messages focus on the central 
biblical teaching of the kingdom. 

It is also significant that our Foun- 
dation Series for Adults concentrates 
on The Coming Kingdom as the fourth 
of eight courses of study. The book by 
Don Blosser is an excellent guide for 
the development of a kingdom theology 


MAY 13, 1986 

"We now know that 
all technology is 
brilliant but fallible 
and finite." 


which emphasizes the hope of the 
kingdom, love and justice in the king- 
dom, the paradox of being in the world 
but not of the world, and the delicate 
challenge of the two kingdoms. The 
book ends with a rugged presentation 
of kingdom living. 

Against this background, chastened 
and humbled, I pray for kingdom in- 
sight on some of the following needs 
for Saskatoon '86 (July 21-27 triennial 
sessions of the General Conference 
Mennonite Church): 

1. The crisis on the family farm is 
the greatest economic challenge since 
the drought and depression in the '30s. 
This is a major upheaval. 

2. The shaking of the foundations of 
family life. 

3. The movement from unity within 
the Mennonite conference to church 
union between GC and MC. 

4. Increasing the unity among the 
fundamentalists, evangelicals, liberals 
and Anabaptists who are within our 

5. Struggling with the nature of 
theological education in the Mennonite 
conferences, especially how Menno- 
nite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., 
can strengthen itself as an interna- 
tional school while relating to other 
centers of theological education. 

6. Seeking insight in our relation to 
movements for justice that challenge 
the peace position, the traditional 
stance of Mennonite Central Commit- 
tee and the rise of conservatism in 
U.S. politics. 

7. Guidance for those who cannot 
pay full taxes to the U.S. government 
with its huge military budget. 

8. To examine professionalism as the 
ultimate commitment of growing num- 
bers of our people. 

We must deal with 
the erosion of family 
foundations. What 
can today's children 
expect in the future? 

9. Relating the Mennonite World 
Conference, the Commission on Over- 
seas Mission and MCC to each other. 

10. Learning to make adjustments 
which permit non-ethnic Mennonites 
to feel at home in our circles. 

11. As our North American Menno- 
nite incomes push toward $3 billion, to 
ask if our stewardship is at the right 
place taking into account all the good 

12. Develop a consensus on human 

13. Pray for the avoidance of nuclear 

I have written this after the chasten- 
ing experience of the Challenger 
shuttle tragedy, which blew seven as- 
tronauts to bits after 70 seconds in the 
air. This tragedy is a reminder that 
the proudest monuments of human 
pride are never sealed from defeat, 
failure and catastrophe. We now know 
that all technology is brilliant but 
fallible and finite. 

The kingdom treasure has broken 
through our earthen vessels time after 
time. It is sign and symbol of Al- 
mighty God's promise to fully consum- 
mate his purposes. We have much to 
be grateful for in our past history. We 
need not go to Muenster, Kiva or 
Dallas to say, "Even so, come Lord 
Jesus." • 

The Mennonite (ISSN 0025-9330) seeks to witness, teach, motivate and build the Christian fellowship within the 
context of Christian love and freedom under the guidance of the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. It is published 
semimonthly by the General Conference Mennonite Church, 722 Main St., Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. Subscription 
rates: one year, $14.50 U.S., $16.50 Canada; two years, $26 U.S., $29 Canada; three years, $35 U.S., $39 Canada. 
Foreign subscriptions add 50 cents per year to U.S. rate. Second class postage paid at Newton, KS, and additional 
mailing offices. Printed in U.S.A. POSTMASTER: Send Form 3579 to The Mennonite, Box 347, Newton, KS 67114. 


spEAkiNq OUT 

On conversion 

Ivan J. Kauffman 

"All of the values we are promoting in 
this letter rest ultimately on the dis- 
armament of the human heart and the 
conversion of the human spirit to God, 
who alone can give authentic peace" 
(from the Bishops' Pastoral Letter, "The 
Challenge of Peace"). 

Paul, who became the church's great- 
est missionary, began his career by 
trying to destroy the church. He was 
on his way to Damascus to arrest and 
probably execute the leaders of the 
church there when he was knocked 
down by a blinding light, and spoken 
to by the voice of the risen Christ. 
That event changed the course of 

A few years ago I happened to hear a 
woman who is a recovering alcoholic 
and a member of AA read the Scrip- 
ture in worship. It was the conversion 
story from Acts 9. Her obvious sense of 
having had a similar experience struck 
me deeply. It was a reminder that 
conversion does not just happen to 

Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian writer, 
described his conversion this way: 
"Five years ago I came to believe in 
Christ's teaching, and my life suddenly 
changed. ... It happened to me as it 
happens to a man who goes out on 
some business and on the way sud- 
denly decides that the business is un- 
necessary and returns home." 

The hymn "Amazing Grace" is the 
true story of such a dramatic reversal. 
The author, John Newton, was an En- 
glish ship captain who bought slaves 
in Africa and sold them in America. In 
1749 he brought a shipload of slaves to 
Charleston, S.C. As was customary, he 
tortured the men en route and raped 
the women. Even among sailors he 
was known for his anti-religious 

But during a storm, when he 
thought his ship was doomed, he expe- 
rienced grace in a profound way and 
his life was transformed. He became 
one of the leading evangelists in En- 
gland, was ordained a priest in the 
Anglican Church and played a leading 
role in bringing about the abolition of 
the slave trade by the British Parlia- 
ment in the early 1800s. 

For most of us conversion is more 
ordinary. Dag Hammarskjold, the 
former Secretary General of the UN, 

James Tissot painted this portrayal of "Simon of Cyrene compelled to bear the cross. " 

described his conversion: "I don't know 
Who— or what— put the question, I 
don't know when it was put. I don't 
even remember answering. But at 
some moment I did answer Yes to 
Someone— or Something— and from 
that hour I was certain that existence 
is meaningful and that therefore, my 
life, in self-surrender, had a goal." 

Ordinary conversions may be less 
dramatic than Paul's but, to the people 
involved, they're as great a change in 
direction. Conversion always means 
turning from selfishness to love, from 
fantasy to reality, from seeing life as 
merely physical to seeing it as both 
spiritual and physical. It means mov- 
ing from isolation into community— 
and acting accordingly. 

"Peace becomes possible only when 
we have a conversion of spirit. We 
cannot have peace with hate in our 
hearts," says the bishops' peace pasto- 
ral. "It is meaningless to seek to trans- 
form structures if the hearts of people 

are not changed," the economics pasto- 
ral says. 

Utopian schemes that proclaim noble 
and worthy goals are regularly un- 
veiled in our society and just as regu- 
larly fail. They fail because they try to 
change what people do without chang- 
ing what they think and feel. We can 
fake it for a while, but eventually we 
always end up doing what we feel like, 
and unless that can be changed the 
situation is hopeless. 

Only conversion really changes the 
world, because it involves individual 
people being changed at the level of 
spirit. That's not an easy process, and 
it costs a lot— everything to be exact- 
but it is possible. Every church and 
every history book is full of examples. 
What happened to Paul can happen to 
all people— and that's good news. 

Ivan J. Kauffman, 140 Tennessee Ave., 
N.E., Washington, DC 20002, writes a 
weekly religious column. 


MAY 13, 1986 


But it happened (Lamentations 4) 

Monty Ledford 

After the high point of chapter 3, 
where the innocent sufferer breaks 
through to hope, we return in chapter 
4 to a fairly straightforward series of 
descriptions of the siege and fall of 
Jerusalem, written while the scenes 
are still fresh in the writer's mind. 

This post-fall description leads me to 
think that this book was not written 
by Jeremiah, who was compelled to 
flee to Egypt by the fearful survivors 
of Governor Gedaliah's assassination. 
Jeremiah was not around to behold the 
scenes of chapters 4 and 5. The author 
was one of the few who took Jeremi- 
ah's message to heart and speaks with 
the same concerns. 

Chapter 4, with its eyewitness view 
of siege and aftermath, gives the lie to 
all heroic or romanticized views of war. 
For all the high-sounding things war is 
supposed to preserve, in actuality it 
does its best job destroying all that is 
worthwhile. As always, the infants and 
children suffer most (v. 4), crying for 
food that no one has to give them; the 
children of the wealthy suffer terribly 
(v. 5), not being streetwise or used to 
privation. In war or any massive social 
dislocation, this would be the category 
most of our children would fall into. 

The blackened skin of once fair and 
ruddy princes (vv. 7, 8) reminds me of 
Edward R. Murrow's experience in a 
concentration camp shortly after World 
War II. A thin and horrible figure 
came up to him and said, "Mr. Mur- 
row, Mr. Murrow. Don't you recognize 
me?" Murrow did not. "I am the 
mayor of Prague you once inter- 
viewed." Even Sodom, paradigm of 
wickedness, was destroyed in a mo- 
ment of time; Jerusalem's suffering 
goes on for months, years. If God's 
punishment fits the crime, what does 
this say of Jerusalem's sin? Jerusalem, 
site of the temple, guardian of the 
Law, suffers more because Jerusalem 
was accountable for more. Those who 
regularly contrast our Christian heri- 
tage with Russia's atheist brutality 
miss this point completely. It is pre- 
cisely our Christian heritage which 
makes our sin greater and undercuts 
any claim to moral superiority. "From 
him to whom much is given much is 

Those who die a lingering starvation 
almost envy those who died in the fury 

of battle (v. 9). Our dreadful para- 
phrase is, The only thing worse than 
dying in a nuclear attack would be 
surviving a nuclear attack. I hope that 
if the United States goes into nuclear 
war in our generation, my family and 
I will perish in the first attack. But 
may God spare us. Let us plead with 
God that he will mercifully restrain 
our murderous madness. The ultimate 
horror, forever fixed in the poet's mind, 
is the cannibalism he witnessed in 
those final terrible days (v. 10). None 
of us really knows the extremes we are 
capable of going to in terrible physical 
need. Once again, may God spare us 

And all this ascribed to the fierce 
anger of God (v. 11). His wrath is com- 
plete (11a), overwhelming (lib), savage 
and irreversible (11c, d— He "kindles a 
fire" which destroys the very founda- 
tions). If I come across in these articles 
as an advocate of God's wrath, it is not 
because I find it attractive but because 
I find it in Scripture. I know that I 
and all smug Fundamentalists like me 
need his mercy as much as anybody. 

The final days of siege are described 
in four scenes in vv. 17-20. The daily 
disappointment of no sign of their 
Egyptian allies (v. 17), the house-to- 
house fighting (v. 18), the unsuccessful 
retreat of the exhausted army (v. 19) 
and the incredible shame of the king's 
capture, in spite of all the promises of 
God ("We thought that under his 
shadow we would live among the na- 
tions"). The burning memory of 
Edom's attack when Israel was in 
defeat evokes another cry for venge- 
ance (vv. 21, 22). 

"O Daughter of Zion, your punish- 
ment will end." Yes, the nation will be 
restored, but what good does that do 
for these people? I don't know about 
you, but this history and all of